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Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt Showdown

glenfiddich single malt scotch range 232x300 Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt ShowdownWorld’s Best Seller vs. America’s #1

by Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

The Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the number 1 selling single malt scotch in the world, it’s also the most awarded single malt scotch in the world, while the Glenlivet 12 Year is the number 1 selling single malt in the United States.  We thought we’d have theses classic mainstream scotches go head to head in a blind taste test.  Of course we had a favorite going but we were wondering if the other could pull off the upset.  A Glenfiddich executive told us that the reason that the Glenlivet is the number 1 single malt in the United States is because in the 1950’s, the Glenlivet had a major marketing campaign in the United States and that the brand has been a rock ever since.  Of course, Glenfiddich is not too far behind.

Tasting Notes of the Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt:

With a golden brown color and reddish tint, the Glenfiddich is sweet with notes of caramel, honey but slightly sour, bitter, complex, and slightly dry.  Very solid.

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glenlivet single malt scotch range 300x205 Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt ShowdownTasting Notes of the Glenlivet 12 Year Single Malt:

The Glenlivet is sweet, thick, delicious, slightly complex and very similar but with just a bit more bight.  It’s a bit stronger with a bit more alcohol taste.  Pretty damn good.

 

Although the competition was very close, the Glenfiddich 12 Year was the unanimous choice for its beautifully sweet flavor.  Glenfiddich has a more enjoyable mouth feel, with a smooth thick finish and no burn whatsoever.  Normally, we like bite and don’t always choose the smoothest spirit as the winner but in this case the nod goes to Glenfiddich.  Don’t get us wrong, we like the Glenlivet and feel that both single malts are overlooked by many Scotch whisky snobs.  Both single malts have very solid ranges and some other their other years can compete with the best single malts in the world.

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The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3: A Hand Crafted Single Malt Masterpiece

balvenie tun 1401 batch 3 single malt scotch whisky 225x300 The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3: A Hand Crafted Single Malt MasterpieceHand Selected By Balvenie’s Malt Master of 50 Years

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

With 103 single malt distilleries in Scotland there are only 5 which are still family owned.  Speyside in Scotland has 48 of these distilleries, the highest per capita in the world and the Balvenie has the most diverse and prestigious range if not in all of Speyside, perhaps in all of Scotland.  The only distillery with its own cooperage on site, the Balvenie grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and has its own coopersmith on site.  This hand crafted artisan style is unprecedented in single malt scotch production.  Now, the Malt Master for over 50 years, Dave Stewart,  has hand selected 10 of their best casks to create the Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3.  Hand pumped from the cask, the ranges in years of the 10 whiskies are from 22 to 44 years.  The Balvenie Tun 1401 is a cask strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky at plus 50% ABV.

Tasting Notes of the Tun 1401 Batch #3

Slightly peated, with legs in the glass, and flavors of butterscotch, this smooth and complex whisky has a dry mouth feel and slightly bitter flavor.  Smooth, warm complex, dry and sweet, this is simply one of the best single malts in the world period.  The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3 comes with our absolute highest recommendation possible.

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Glenfiddich Single Malt Celebrates 125 Years with Special Limited Addition Single Malt

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Range Glenfiddich Single Malt Celebrates 125 Years with Special Limited Addition Single MaltThe Number 1 Selling and Most Awarded Single Malt in the World!

By Matt Goldstein

The Glrenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky is celebrating 125 years.  The world’s most awarded single malt and also number one selling single malt was first sipped on Christmas Day in 1887 when William Grants and his sons let the first few drops come out of their copper pot stills.  Gaelic for Valley of the Deer, Glenfiddich is now traveling the United States with a special single malt to celebrate.

Last year, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Heather Greene rolled an actual whisky cask around the iconic landmarks in Philadelphia, inviting passersby to inscribe their aspirations and dreams on them.  After traveling across the U.S., the casks were sent to the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland, where they were used to complete the aging process of a special limited edition bottling—one that will has been made in part by the thousands of Americans who touched and signed our special Dream casks.

Of course, because we are a member of the “media,” we get to tast this beautiful single malt free of charge, among millions of other whiskies, vodka’s, tequila’s rums, beers wines and champagnes that the spirit companies give me.  Life is awesome!

Glenfiddich broke a world record last week with an auction of the first U.S. bottle of the world’s most valuable single malt scotch whisky—selling to a whisky collector for an astronomical $94,000!

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The Dimple Pinch 15 Year a Very Underrated Blended Scotch Whisky

The Dimple Pinch Blended Scotch Whisky 225x300 The Dimple Pinch 15 Year a Very Underrated Blended Scotch WhiskyMade in the Oldest Distillery in Scotland

By Matt Goldstein

The house name brands of blended scotch whiskey, Dewar’s, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker Black certainly deserve their do, but the Dimple Pinch Pinch 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky can stand with any of these major brands.  The Dimple Blended Scotch Whisky consists of over thirty malt and grain whiskies, produced by Haig in Scotland’s oldest surviving Scotch Whisky distillery.  For over 300 years, Haig has been distilling and blending whisky.  The Dimple Pinch Blended Scotch Whisky has been around since 1893.  Blended, matured and bottled in Scotland, the Haig distillery is in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Dimple Pinch Tasting Notes:

With a sweet thick scent, the Dimple Pinch has a smooth taste with a sweet and complex syrupy flavor.  The scent is much sweeter than the average premium blended scotch as well as the thickness and finish.  With a sometimes spicy finish and dry mouth feel.  We absolutely recommend the Dimple Pinch 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky which retails for about $35.  We actually like if much more than the much pricier Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky which about twice the price for $70.  The Dimple Pinch is a stud as evidence by the bottle we just crushed.

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Glenmorangie Partners with the British Open!

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky 225x300 Glenmorangie Partners with the British Open!NEW YORK — Scotland is celebrated the world over for whisky and golf, so what could be more appropriate than today’s announcement of a three year partnership that will see Glenmorangie become the Official Whisky of The Open Championship.  The pairing of Glenmorangie and The R&A organizers of The Open Championship is a natural fit, as both have huge global followings.

Glenmorangie is enjoyed in over 130 countries worldwide, and, of course, in the U.S. where it has been the fastest growing single malt whisky for the past three years. The Open Championship is golf’s most famous tournament, and is watched on television by an estimated 458 million households in 196 territories worldwide. Over 200,000 visitors flock to Britain’s finest coastal golf courses every year to enjoy the drama of The Open in person. Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, near Liverpool, will be hosting the Open Championship in 2012 (July 15-22).

Both Glenmorangie and The Open have a proud heritage dating back over 150 years. Glenmorangie was first produced in 1843 and is a leading player in premium single malts. The Open is golf’s oldest Major Championship, dating back to 1860, and offers the famous Claret Jug as its prize.

Just as Glenmorangie goes to unnecessary lengths to craft its award-winning single malt whisky – using the tallest stills in Scotland and only the finest quality oak casks – so The Open is renowned every year for its meticulous preparation of the greens, fairways and bunkers of each Championship course.

Peter Dawson, The R&A’s Chief Executive, welcomed Paul Skipworth, President and Managing Director of The Glenmorangie Company, to St Andrews, and expressed his delight at the partnership.

Paul Skipworth said: “Glenmorangie is proud to become a part of this amazing Championship, which will see our whisky showcased to as many as 200,000 visitors at each Open. Glenmorangie is delighted with our partnership with The R&A, an association of our mutually high standards. Like The Open itself, we believe in going the extra mile in the pursuit of perfection.”

Brian Cox, Vice President of Glenmorangie, U.S., agreed and added: “There’s a lot of common ground between lovers of fine golf and fine Scotch whisky, and we’re extremely excited about this opportunity to reach out and connect the patrons of these two world-class brands, both nationally and internationally.

Peter Dawson said: “We are thrilled to welcome Glenmorangie as the Official Whisky of The Open Championship. Glenmorangie is an iconic Scottish brand, which, like golf, is enjoyed the world over.”

About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland, expertly matured in the finest oak casks (used only twice), and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field uniting tradition with innovation to create‘unnecessarily well-made’ whiskies.

Glenmorangie has won a remarkable total of 18 ‘Gold Best in Class’ medals over the past five years at the IWSC – the most internationally-recognized awards body. This is more than any other single malt Scotch whisky, making Glenmorangie the ‘best awarded’ of any single malt.

About the Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Single Highland malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay malt.

TheR&A

Based in St Andrews, The R&A organizes The Open Championship,major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.

 

The R&Ais committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the game internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 143 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in128 countries.

The Open

The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on British links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.

Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.

In 2012, The 141st Open Championship will be held at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s Golf Club in Lancashire July 15-22nd.

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Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Not the Gold Signature!

Chiva Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Not the Gold Signature!The Gold Signature is not so Golden

By Matt Goldstein

Qualifiers get a little cliché and seem to be lame excuses for making a claim unsure of how it can be perceived, but let us start out by saying that we absolutely love the Chivas Regal 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky.  For about $35, it’s a very solid buy and a very good scotch.  However, the older more mature brother, the Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky misses the mark when it comes to Scotch.  There are too many studs in this category and price range to give this whisky any props at all.  The Chivas Regal 18 year retails for about $60 but there is a complete lack of complexity and character.  The Chivas Regal 18 is smooth and does have the quintessential blended scotch whisky taste, but that’s about the whole story.  “Chivas Regal 18 includes over 20 of Scotland’s rarest single malt whiskies,” according to Chivas.  This whisky is just too flat for an experienced taste and right now we cannot recommend it for $60.  Check out the awards for the Chivas 18 Year below because these are some strong accolades.  We would definitely like to review if again to see if we caught it on a bad day.

2005 Gold winner, Deluxe blend Scotch whisky 18 year old category, International Spirits Competition cocktail awards

2007 Blended Scotch Whisky of the Year, Malt Advocate

2008 Double gold winner, San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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The Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky: Unprecedented in Cask Maturation

Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky 193x300 The Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky: Unprecedented in Cask MaturationMade with a Signature Cask of American and French Oak

By Matt Goldstein

Named the Oak Cross because it’s aged in very unique oak barrels, the Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky is made entirely of Highland malts.  The whiskies are aged in American Oak casks then an oak cask with French & American Oak.  Yes, one barrel with two different oaks, that’s the Oak Cross signature.  The Oak Cross is actually a vatted malt which is blended with only single malts and no acutall grain whisky such as a Blended Scotch whisky.  These single malt whiskies are hand selected for this specific vatted blend.  Bottled at 43% alcohol, the Oak Cross Blended Scotch Whisky is a beautiful light and clear color resembling white wine, a very rare but natural color for a blend.  About 50% of the blend is aged in the Oak Cross cooperage and “this is something no one else in Scotland does” according to Compass Box.  Ya gotta respect the innovativeness of Compass Box and their willingness to take risks to make a unique and very rewarding whisky.  The chief whisky maker at Oak Cross, John Glaser, actually an American and former wine maker, comes with a different background which may be cause for his willingness to branch outside of classic whisky making styles.

Tasting Notes of the Oak Cross Blended Scotch:

With a sharp scent of malt and grains, the Oak Cross has a spicy bite.  Thin, sweet, syrupy and smooth, this solid whisky is a stud.  For about $35 per bottle retail, the Oak Cross is a solid well rounded whisky.  We recommend trying this innovative and unique whiskey as it won’t break the bank and fits any occasion.

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The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch: Simply one of the Best Whiskies in the World!

Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch: Simply one of the Best Whiskies in the World!What Single Malt Scotch Whisky was Meant to Be…

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Only 180 people populate the Isle of Jura, and the Jura distillery lies on the east side of the island.  Distilling scotch on the remote island of Jura dates back to the 1600’s and the Jura distillery just celebrated their 200 year anniversary in 2010. The island of Jura is just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long with one road, one hotel and one distillery.  In Gaelic, the people of Jura are known as Diurachs and known for their hunting, shooting, fishing, sailing, lobster, and of course, single malt scotch.  The Jura 16 Year Single Malt is aged just off the beach on the Isle of Jura and gets much of its complex characteristics from the ocean air.  Matured no less than 16 years, this single malt Scotch whisky is simply one of the best in the world period.  All we can say is WOW!

The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting Notes:

With a scent of ocean air, oak and syrup, thw Jura has notes and flavors of oak, syrup, honey and has real complexity.  Smooth yet very complex, this is the perfect single malt scotch and comes with our highest recommendation.

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Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky Real Bang for the Buck!

Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky 225x300 Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky Real Bang for the Buck!A Double Gold Medal Speyside Triple Malt

By Matt Goldstein

A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman.  Released in the UK in 2006, Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.  Of course there are a lot of gold medals for whiskeys these days but the Monkey Shoulder lives up to the hype, especially for its price.  Available for about $35-40, the Monkey Shoulder blend includes Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie single malts.

 

The Monkey Shoulder Tasting Notes:

Thick for a blend and light gold in color with a slightly red tint, Monkey Shoulder has a sweet scent of honey and syrup.  With a sweet flavor, this is a solid blended scotch whiskey in whish the slightly spicy flavor and finish provide a very proficient complexity.  The triple malted blend works very well and for the price, the Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky is a straight up stud!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONKEY SHOULDER WHISKY ARRIVES IN AMERICA!

“Most Coveted Spirit” Makes Long-Awaited Stateside Debut

 

NEW YORK  IWSC Distiller of the Year William Grant & Sons announces the arrival of the ground-breaking blended malt Scotch whisky, Monkey Shoulder, on American shores! Often referred to as one of the “most coveted” spirits in the U.S. due to its popularity among the bartending community and whisky connoisseurs, Monkey Shoulder has just landed exclusively in Illinois!

An irreverent nod to the traditional distillery malt-men who painstakingly turn malt barley by hand and wooden schiel, the “MonkeyShoulder” moniker refers to the colloquial term of a once common temporary injury, when after a long day’s work, a maltman would feel as though he had a monkey on his shoulder. While the injury is fortunately a thing of the past, the dedication to quality and craftsmanship involved in the hand turning of barley lives on in the Monkey Shoulder distillation process and the name today.

 

Since first appearing in bars across the United Kingdom in 2006, Monkey Shoulder has redefined whisky drinking for a new generation of Scotch whisky drinkers looking for an upgrade.  What sets Monkey Shoulder apart from other whiskies is its unique combination of provenance and personality.  By marrying five generations of award-winning distilling experience with a uniquely cheeky contemporary style and commitment to innovation within the Scotch category, Monkey Shoulder represents the ideal pairing of style and substance.  A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman, to ensure its signature smooth flavor.

 

“Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Scotch whisky – one rooted in heritage and tradition but firmly grounded in the contemporary world.  Connoisseurs appreciate that Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Speyside whisky from a known world class distiller, while whisky newcomers are drawn to the mixability of the quality liquid and the irreverent and cheeky personality Monkey Shoulder presents to the category,” said Cindy Wang, Senior Brand Manager, Monkey Shoulder.

 

Under the scrutiny of William Grant & Sons award-winning distillers in Dufftown, Scotland, Monkey Shoulder is crafted in small batches of only 27 cases and offers a beautifully sweet and rich vanilla flavor, with brown sugar and creamy toffee notes balanced with oak and just a hint of spice.  Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.

 

“Having caught the eye of the world’s leading bartenders, it’s high time my talented and influential friends in the U.S. have the opportunity to obtain and appreciate a bottle of Monkey Shoulder without a trip to London,” said Dean Callan, global brand ambassador, Monkey Shoulder.

Monkey Shoulder will be available in the Chicagoland area starting January 6th in top bars and select liquor stores and will be rolling out in Texas later in 2012. Those fortunate enough to discover Monkey Shoulder will be able to enjoy it neat, on the rocks or in a range of innovative cocktails.

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The Glenmorangie Artein Single Malt: A Whisky Born of Stone

glenmorangie artein single malt scotch 226x300 The Glenmorangie Artein Single Malt: A Whisky Born of StoneGlenmorangie Unveils Artein: A Single Malt Whisky Born of Stone

NEW YORK — Glenmorangie is proud to announce the launch of Glenmorangie Artein, the third release in its award winning Private Edition range. ‘Artein,’ Scots Gaelic for stone, is an intriguing marriage of 15 and 21 Years Old Glenmorangie, extra matured in ‘Super Tuscan’ wine casks.  Stone has always been at the heart of the making of Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Glenmorangie has its own unique hard water source – the Tarlogie Spring – which slowly filters through layers of limestone, adding rich minerals that eventually give Glenmorangie its complex fruity aromas. Stone also plays a more symbolic role for Glenmorangie. Located on grounds near the Glenmorangie distillery is the Hilton of Cadbol Stone, an 8th century Pictish artifact, rich in ancient intricate carvings. This treasure became the inspiration for Glenmorangie’s iconic emblem, The Signet.

Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation, is renowned for pioneering the innovative approach of extra maturing whisky in ex-wine casks. He has long felt a strong affinity with the innovative ‘Super Tuscan’ wine producers who are justly celebrated for breaking with established Italian wine making traditions. The rugged Tuscan coastal hills, located on stony ground, seem an improbable area for establishing vineyards, yet the stone plays an important role in the taste of these special wines. The vines are forced to take root deep into the soil for nourishment and as a result the grapes ripen with the intense flavor of this unique terrain.

Dr. Lumsden comments, “Wine is one of my huge passions and I was fascinated by the role the stony ground played in the flavor profile of the famous ‘Super-Tuscan’ wines. I was inspired to experiment with extra maturing Glenmorangie in these wine casks and was thrilled with the result: a rich, outstandingly fragrant whisky — quite literally born of stone.”

Glenmorangie Artein’s recipe has two thirds hand selected 15 year old whisky with a special additional one third of 21 year old whisky. The spirit started its maturation in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before individually spending a period of extra maturation in Super Tuscan wine casks. On the nose, Glenmorangie Artein recalls a sweet and heady bouquet of ripe red berries, honeysuckle and fresh mint. On the palate, one can taste sun-soaked baked fruits such as ripe apricots, peaches and plums which harmonize fluidly with hints of spearmint and cherries in milk chocolate. A whisky of great length, bottled at a strength of 46% alcohol by volume, Glenmorangie Artein finishes with high notes of zesty, lemon sherbet and a flourish of creamy cappuccino.

The official launch of Artein will be held at Colicchio & Sons in New York City on February 15th, 2012. Celebrity Chef and James Beard Award winner Tom Colicchio will be in attendance. He will create a Glenmorangie inspired menu for this special evening.

Glenmorangie Artein is the latest addition to the ongoing Private Edition range, which consists of rare and interesting limited edition whiskies selected from “the cabinet of curiosities” of Dr. Bill Lumsden. Released on an annual basis, this range comprises the highly esteemed Sonnalta PX and Finealta. Brian Cox, Vice President Glenmorangie in the U.S., commented, “These Private Editions are fast becoming valued collector’s items. We have completely sold out of the last two Editions and anticipate that Glenmorangie Artein 15 Years Old will sell out even faster since the Super Tuscan casks make this a very rare Private Edition indeed.” Artein is available in the U.S. from February 1st, 2012.

About Glenmorangie:
Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland, expertly matured in the finest oak casks, and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field uniting tradition with innovation to create ‘unnecessarily well made whiskies.’

About The Glenmorangie Company
The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the company produces two main single malt brands – Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt Whisky.

The Glenmorangie Private Edition Range
Glenmorangie’s Private Edition is an award winning special range that provides the occasional opportunity for the Glenmorangie Whisky Creation Team to share rare, limited samples of its rich and innovative experimentations to whisky connoisseurs and aficionados. Glenmorangie Artein marks the third release in this range; previous releases were Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX – a full bodied whisky, extra matured in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks and Glenmorangie Finealta – an exquisite recreation of a 1900s recipe from the Glenmorangie archives with subtle notes of peat.

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