Aged for 18 years and finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, this single malt Scotch earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010.
In 1738, a brewery was built upon Morangie Farm in the Highlands region of Scotland. A century later, William Matheson acquired the farm and equipped the Morangie brewery with two stills that he purchased second-hand, and renamed the brewery-converted-distillery Glenmorangie.
Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made using malted barley, which is germinated with water sourced from the Tarlogie Spring. The water produced from the spring, which spends nearly a century underground before it is extracted, is unusually rich in minerals. (In the 1980s, when development in the area threatened the spring's water quality, the distillery purchased 600 acres of land around and including the spring, in order to ensure consistent water quality and adequate supply.)
After germination, the grains are mashed and fermented before being twice distilled through Glenmorangie's copper-pot stills. The stills are equipped with relatively small boiler pots, which increases the exposure of the whisky to the copper, resulting in a more pure flavor. In addition, the stills are nearly seventeen feet tall — the tallest of any distillery in Scotland — and as a result, produce a lighter, more refined whisky.
After distillation, Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Single Malt Scotch Whisky is aged for fifteen years in used bourbon casks. Approximately 30% of the whisky is then double-barreled, or finished, in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks for an additional three years. After both the original and double-barreled whisky have reached 18 years of age, they are blended together in order to create Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Whisky.
Glenmorangie's 18 Year Old Extremely Rare "embodies our house style," says Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie's Head of Distilling and Flavor Creation since 1998. Lumsden, who holds a PhD in Biochemistry (he wrote his dissertation on yeast physiology) and is the only person in the world to have been honored with Whisky Advocate's "Industry Leader of the Year" award three times, is one of the most respected figures in the Scotch whisky industry. "It develops and fills out the characteristics of the 10 Years Old, adding another dimension," he says of the 18 Year Old expression, "but it remains true to its origin."
The whisky has a deep amber color, with notes of mandarin, banana, apple and pear. Well-textured, the flavors open up to notes of apricots, nuts and vanilla, along with hints of raisins and fudge. The finish, which lingers, has a touch of almonds and sweet citrus.
Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Whisky earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010, and the title "Best in Class" at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2009.
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86 (43% ABV)
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Notes of mandarin, banana, apple and pear. Well-textured, flavors open up to notes of apricots, nuts and vanilla, along with hints of raisins and fudge. Finish lingers with a touch of almonds and sweet citrus.