This is Glenmorangie’s annual Private Edition for 2017, called Bacalta. It had been matured in first fill bourbon casks and then finished in Madeira casks. Not just any Madeira casks mind you, Glemorangie’s chief whisky wizard, the man behind these weird and wonderful Private Editions, Dr. Bill Lumsden requested that the Madeira casks be heavily charred.
This heavy charring can have some very interesting effects on maturation, releasing different flavours, additional influence from the previous contents and somewhat refining the spirit as well. Should play quite nicely with the sweet spirit and spicy Madeira influence.
Aged 3 years*. 46% ABV. Matured in first fill bourbon casks and finished in heavily charred Madeira casks. Non-chill filtered.
*For lack of age statement, although in press releases it was stated that this was aged 10 years in bourbon casks and then a further 2 years in the finishing casks. But it’s not on the label so….
Nose: Quite a chewy malty note to it, more-so than the usual Glenmorangie profile. Creamy porridge with honey. Dried apricots. Vanilla and delicate floral notes galore. Light wood. Orange cake. After some time a light briney note shows up.
Palate: Bitter wood. Lots of wood spice. Mint. Boiled sweets. Dried citrus peel. Herbal Honey. Slight nuttiness. Seville oranges.
Finish: Medium-long. Very big wood spice note. Nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. When that dies down there’s a bitter wood and vanilla not. A slight sweet, jammy stickiness behind it all.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a nice one. The interplay between the various influences was, as expected, very interesting and yet everything was also quite well balanced, and perhaps even too mild for the tastes of some. As for me I quite enjoyed it. Sometimes I find too much focus on the finish in these private editions, like last year’s Milsean, but for me this one was Baby Bear’s porridge.