Hand 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.
The 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!
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.”
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.
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 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.
Glenmorangie 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.
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.
When people talk about the best single malts, most will tell you Macallan, Talisker, Balvenie and then tell you some dribble about the six classic single malts of Scotland, which was actually just a marketing ploy. Single malt vs. blended Scotch whisky, peated and smoky or smooth and syrupy, there are many ways to enjoy a scotch, all having their place. However, the Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt is one of the most overlooked single malts in the world, especially when you’re talking about the Glenrothes 1994. After winning multiple gold medals and “best in class” awards in international competition, one would think the Glenrothes would be behind the bars of many more establishments.
Established in 1879, this Speyside Single Malt is distilled in tall copper stills and aged in oak casks, the Glenrothes 1994 is a 12 year single malt scotch and it’s a work of art.
Tasting Notes of the Glenrothes 1994:
With the scent of sweet oak, syrup and salt, the taste is sweet and complex with flavors of oak, syrup, toffee, honey, and a complex finish with a slight hint of citrus. This is an excellent single malt that’s smooth and complex and we absolutely recommend it.
Pale golden, clear and bright
Bouquet: Fruity, toffee, marshmallows
Palate:Soft, fruity, lemon citrus
Finish:Long, soft and fruits
The Glenrothes we believe that whisky is a bit like people; or wine perhaps, in that it matures in casks at its own gentle pace. Sometimes this takes longer than expected, sometimes we’re surprised early. But whether it’s a Vintage, a Single Cask or one of our House Reserves, we only ever bottle The Glenrothes when we deem it to be at its peak of maturity to ensure that each unique selection is ready to enjoy at its very, very best.
Distilled and matured in Ross-Shire, the Glenmorangie 18 Years Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is considered “Extremely Rare.” Once it has spent fifteen years maturing in American white oak bourbon casks, approximately 30% if the whisky is transferred into Spanish Oloroso casks to spend a further three years maturing. Most scotches are aged for the majority of their maturation in bourbon casks because bourbon casks are only used once, usually aging bourbon in Kentucky for about 3-6 years. Then, the bourbon cask is shipped to Scotland to create single malts and blended scotch whiskies.
In the north of Scotland in the Highlands, the Glenmorangie distillery sits on the shores of Dornach Firth. Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been distilling single malt Scotch whisky and the 18 year is the magnum opus of this long, rich, critically acclaimed and award winning single malt distillery. Like many coastal distilleries in Scotland, the salty ocean water air gives the single malt much of its character.
Winning gold gest in Class at the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition, the double gold medal for single malts at 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, best Highland Malt at the 2009 World Whiskies Awards, and gold best in class for Highland Malt at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, the Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 Years Old has proven it’s stature in double blind taste tests again and again. Glenmorangie was also named distillery of the year in 2011 at the IWSC after taking 5 gold best in class awards.
Tasting Notes for the Glenmorangie 18 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky:
With a light gold color, slightly sweet in flavor, this whisky is a complex and crisp single malt. Slightly dry towards the finish with a good, thick mouth feel, there are hints of honey, malt smoke and oak. This is a beautiful whisky and we are lucky enough to have the pleasure to have tasted it multiple times. We highly recommend this single malt but there is a steep price tag, about $100.00.
For a whisky of this age this expression has maintained, thanks to our delicate floral spirit and fine Oloroso casks, an incredible degree of vibrancy where the raisiny sweetness of the sherry has been toned down by the nuttiness of the American oak.
Rich, rounded and sweet with dried fruits and a complex floral fragrance.
The taste is balanced between honey, malt and flowery scents. Dates and figs emerge in the background with a hint of wood smoke.
The finish is long and enticing with the sweetness of dried fruit and subtle dryness of Oloroso nuttiness.
Winner of our Double Blind Single Malt Scotch Taste Test
By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight
Earlier this year, in our first double blind single malt scotch trials, the Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Years aged crushed the competition across the board and it wasn’t even close. Facing off against the likes of Macallan, Glenmorangie, Oban, Highand Park, and more, the Balvenie unquestionably stood apart. Since then, we’ve tasted this scotch again and again and it simply keeps performing like a champion. Aged in a single cask of no more than 350 bottles for a minimum of 15 years, the Balvenie Malt Master selects only the casks which have the essential characteristics of the Balvenie Single Barrel style. With a complete malty scent, the Balvenie 15 Year is sweet, with hints of vanilla, cream, citrus, fruits, honey, and oaky notes. The Balvenie 15 is rich, complex, sweet and full bodied. Smooth, silky and buttery, this single malt is simply one of the best in the world. Each cask of the Balvenie imparts slightly different flavor as our new limited edition bottle from the Balvenie Road Show is slightly different than the one which stole the show at our taste test. Surprisingly in fact, we believe it to be even better. From the moment that the traditional oak cask is filled it remains undisturbed and every year, the Malt Master hand selects each barrel that meets the required maturity. With supreme confidence, the Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Single Malt Scotch comes with our highest recommendation. This single Malt must be considered top 3 for any single malt scotch bottled at under $100.
Over the past five years Glenmorangie has won a remarkable total of 18 ‘Gold Best in Class’ medals at the International Wines and Spirit Competition (IWSC) – the most internationally-recognized wine and spirits awards body. This is more than any other single malt Scotch whisky, making Glenmorangie the ‘best awarded’ of any single malt.
Since its foundation in 1969 the IWSC has rewarded excellence in the world of wines and spirits, and November 16 was no exception. In the presence of 500 aficionados from across the globe at London’s historic Guildhall, Glenmorangie received yet another honor —the IWSC Best Distiller award. The title is a well-deserved addition to Glenmorangie’s collection of distinguished accolades.
Dr. Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie, said: “It’s great to receive validation from theIWSC of our ‘unnecessarily well made’ whiskies. We have the tallest stills in Scotland giving us a smoother, purer spirit; we only use our casks twice for maximum flavor – whereas other companies use theirs up to six or seven times; and we are pioneers of extra maturation. Glenmorangie was the first whisky company to practice the art of extra maturing whisky in ex-wine casks and we are still the leading experts in this today.”
Brian Cox, Vice President of Glenmorangie in the U.S., said: “We are both honored and flattered to receive the IWSC Best Distiller award — a prestigious recognition that we do not take lightly. It’s truly the distillery and the people who create Glenmorangie that sets our whisky apart from the competition. I raise a glass of our whisky not only in celebration, but as a testament to all that Glenmorangie has collectively accomplished.”
The Glenmorangie distillery was founded in 1843 in the Highlands of Scotland and is renowned as a pioneer in its field for uniting tradition with innovation. Glenmorangie is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills, expertly matured in the finest oak casks, and perfected by the 16 Men of Tain. It has been Scotland’s favorite single malt for over 50 years and is famous worldwide for producing the most complex and perfectly balanced Single Malts in the world.
About The Glenmorangie Company
The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moet 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.
About The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC)
The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. The IWSC Awards mark out of a possible 100, with Gold medals going to whiskies within the top ten percentile. Gold Best in Class is bestowed upon the top whisky within the top ten percentile. Silver medals are given to spirits ranging within 80 – 89.9 and bronze medals are appointed to products between 75 – 79.9 marks.
The Glenmorangie Company advocates responsible drinking and suggests that drinkers savor Glenmorangie whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.
This Highland Malt is Perhaps a Bit Overpriced and Pedestrian
By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight
After recently being named Distiller of the year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, we tasted the Glenmorangie 18 Years aged Single Malt and we can understand the enthusiasm behind this great distillery. On the other hand, we also tasted the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or at Philadelphia’s Union Trust Streakhouse. First, the Union Trust overcharged for about $22 per glass. Maybe the bartender made a mistake considering the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon was only $15. Any who, not to hold that against Glenmorangie, but the Nectar D’Or seemed to under perform. Perhaps a bit pedestrian, and perhaps a bit overpriced, the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or was solid, but nothing special. Non chill filtered, the Nectar D’Or is aged in French Oak which is rare for a single malt scotch. We respect and appreciate Glenmorangie’s willingness to be different but we’re not sure if they created anything special here by branching out. The Casks are hand selected wine barriques from Sauternes, a famous and ancient sweet wine growing region of France and the whisky is casked for a minium of 10 years.
The Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or is thin with an average scent. Having good flavor but thin overall and thin on the finish, this is a solid single malt scotch, but nothing great when compared in its class. The Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or won a few silver medals in 2008 and 2009.
When the Whiskey Goldmine releases our Top 10 Single Malt Scotch list in the next few weeks, the Macallan Cask Strength is destined for the top 5. This single malt is a flat out masterpiece. The Macallan Cask Strength is aged for a minimum of 10 years in Spanish Oak casks, handcrafted and seasoned by Sherry in Jerez. The Macallan cask strength is bottled straight from the barrel without chill filtration or adding any water, as opposed to what is normally done in almost all scotches, not to mention all whiskeys. The genius of this whisky is just that, it’s just the single malt Scotch whisky in its natural state making the statement in your glass. One could search their entire lives looking for a 10 years aged single malt with this much complexity and undoubtedly come up short.
The color is a deep red, almost a mahogany. The flavor and mouth feel are a complex and sweet syrup, with beautiful notes of wood. With hints of vanilla, fruits, spices and oak, the flavor, mouth feel, and finish is just on another level than other premium single malts. Almost like a pancake meeting maple syrup for the first time, no other premium single malt is this rich and complex.
Perhaps the craziest attribute of the Macallan Cask Strength is just that, its strength. There is no water added and the whisky is bottled straight from the barrel, 58.5% ABV, 117 proof. Yet, with the strong character of the cask strength is still an exceptionally smooth and beautiful whisky. Compared to other premium single malts, the Balvenie 15 year Single Barrel is 47,8%, the Talisker 10 year is 45.8%, Highland Park 12 year is 43%, and the Oban 14 year is 43%. That would mean that the Macallan Cask Strength has almost a 35% higher ABV than Highland Park and Oban.
This Macallan Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch comes with our highest recommendation. This is perhaps the most exception single malt we’ve ever tasted and in its price range and maturation, one will find it extremely difficult to match.