Back in January, Glenmorangie released the fourth whisky of its Private Edition Range. Called Ealanta, it is a 19-year old whisky matured in virgin American white oak casks.
According to the company’s head of distilling and whisky creation – Dr Bill Lumsden – the casks were filled before he started with the company and when he discovered them in the warehouse, he set them aside to ensure they were saved for a special bottling in the future.
“Over the years I have kept a close eye on their progress, and although the final recipe is from me and my team, it’s a real pleasure to see the original experiment see the light of day at last…and be still here to celebrate it,” he said in a release.
Unusually for a whisky, it spent its full lifetime in virgin oak casks, which Dr Lumsden said adds “huge mouth-filling, buttery, creamy, vanilla flavours.”
The whisky will be available globally and joins the other limited edition whiskies in the Private Edition Range (Sonnalta PX , Finealta and Artein). It will cost £74.99.
I’ve finally had the chance to try a sample I was very kindly given a few weeks back and here’s what I thought:
Glenmorangie Ealanta: 46%:
(C): Golden raisins
(N): Initially very sweet but in a pleasant, fairground kind of way: cotton candy and summertime come to mind. Honey drenched apricots, banana foams, creamy real vanilla ice cream, big wafts of caramel wafers, orange blossoms and summer flowers follow. For some reason an image of a river (maybe the smell of fresh water on a hot day?) appears in my mind when I smell it too.
(P): Surprising little bite of spice at first, then loads of fruit (tinned peaches and mandarins especially) frolic over the tongue. A tiny, smoke like hint lingers at the back of the palate for an instant too. On second sip, there’s a dash of pine needles and sap, and a welcoming warmth that sashays its way around my mouth like a silk red dress swishing across a dance floor. It’s elegant, but slightly demanding (in a good way – it wants you to pay attention).
(F): A nice oaky flavour emerges after a minute or so, leaving me desiring another sip.
This whisky is a beauty. It’s got depth and richness, which I was unsure about given it had been in virgin oak for so long – I was worried it would be too one-dimensional or spicy but this is just right. A dram for an early autumn evening shared with friends.