Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Additional Coloring: N/A
Average price: € 100.00
Official website: www.glenmorangie.com
Leaving aside the noisy marketing strategies for the launch of each new limited edition of Glenmorangie (and Ardbeg: same ownership), it must be acknowledged that in the parts of Tain (and Islay) they have long understood one important thing: that whisky is also storytelling. That is, that every bottle is a potential container of stories, be they personal recollections or memories of collective events, and that part of its appeal, regardless of the quality of the whisky which remains – it should be remembered – the most important aspect, derives from the ability to tell them.
Aware of this, Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation & Whisky Stock and LVMH’s ‘man at arms’, has for years been launching into a series of proposals with bizarre concepts and fluctuating results, which have divided aficionados. And after A Tale of Cake, which evoked (successfully, in our humble opinion) the fragrance of a cake, the pineapple upside-down that his daughter used to prepare for him, adding to the ageing in ex-bourbon casks a finish in ex-Hungarian Tokayi, and A Tale of Winter (soon to appear on these pages) with an ageing in ex-marsala casks, here comes A Tale of the Forest, which aims to recreate in the glass the impression of a walk in the woods.
How? By adding botanicals from the Highland forests (along with a small amount of peat) during the malt drying phase: pine needles, birch, juniper, mint, heather and parsley. After maturing for an undisclosed length of time in ex-Bourbon casks, the whisky was bottled at 46%ABV and is still available on the Italian market today.
Thanks to Lamberto, soul of Whisky Art, for the generous sample directly from Como Whisky Week 2022.
The colour is gold.
On the nose, the result is fully achieved, with impressions of moss, mushrooms, bark, juniper berries and an overall sensation of mist and wet earth, to which are added notes of barley, rennet apple, mulberry leaves and coffee powder. Glenmorangie’s signature is found in a touch of yellow orange and a hint of lemon. Hints of burnt straw and sawdust complete an extremely evocative picture that also bodes well for the palate.
Where, however, the situation changes: the smokiness gradually diminishes in intensity, and the evocative power is reduced accordingly. Sensations of bark and sawdust remain, and a shadow of juniper berries, but the overall profile, in which notes of pepper, yellow orange and barley stand out, appears decidedly more conventional.
The finish is not very long, with yellow apple, barley and a barely discernible touch of bitterness.
Pity. After a remarkable nose, it seems to us that in the mouth the whisky loses much of its richness. The sensation is that of a magic interrupted at the most beautiful moment, as if someone, at the climax of a thrilling film, had suddenly turned on the light revealing, to us spectators/drinkers who are a bit like children, the fragility of the artifice on which our emotion is based.