Glenmorangie Releases Grand Vintage Malt 1989

Tuesday April 3, 2018

Glenmorangie Releases Grand Vintage Malt 1989

Glenmorangie has announced the second limited release in the Bond House No. 1 Vintage collection: Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989, the first Glenmorangie expression to be part-matured in rare ex-Côte-Rôtie casks.

Glenmorangie's Bond House No. 1 Vintage collection takes its name from the largest of Glenmorangie's 19th century Bonded Warehouses. For generations, Warehouse No. 1 was home to Glenmorangie's casks of maturing spirit, but in 1990 as the Distillery sought to meet surging demand for its single malt around the world, Warehouse No. 1 was transformed into a new still house, revered today as Glenmorangie's Highland Cathedral.

The story of Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989 begins with some of the last spirit to ever to emerge from the Distillery's former still house. While select parcels of 1989 spirit lay maturing in the finest casks, Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie's Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, vowed to honor Warehouse No. 1's legacy with a highly sought-after cask assemblage.

Dr. Lumsden arranged for select parcels of the 27-year-old single malt to be finished in a handful of casks, the most prestigious of which once contained Côte-Rôtie wine from the northern Rhône wine region of France. Since wine from the Côte-Rôtie appellation (French for roasted slopes) is created from the rare co-fermentation of Shiraz and Viognier grapes, Dr. Lumsden was interested in the character it would bring to Glenmorangie's soft and smooth spirit. As the Côte-Rôtie-aged parcels reached their prime, Dr. Lumsden reunited them with spirit from the same vintage finished in the finest ex-Oloroso sherry and superior ex-bourbon casks. This assemblage of aging counterparts created a unique vintage Single Malt, distinguished by its softness, oaky depths, and hints of ripe, red fruit.

"The Bond House No. 1 Vintage collection invites single malt whiskey collectors to explore some of Glenmorangie's most rare and prized vintage whiskeys, marked for greatness from their year of origin," says Dr. Lumsden. "After 27 years of maturation, I knew that Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989 was ready to share. Each cask in the assemblage was carefully chosen to complement the depths brought upon by the ex-Côte-Rôtie casks. Connoisseurs will delight in the beautiful balance of subtle finesse, richness, and intensity of the expression, which is extraordinarily varied for a whiskey of such age."

Tasting Notes

(Chill-filtered and bottled at 43% ABV; $665 U.S. market SRP)

Color: Russet.

Nose: Toasted marshmallow, almond, and a curious, perfumed top note. Classic, buttery scents of vanilla and fudge, burst into notes of baked apples, red fruits, blackcurrants, tropical fruits, fragrant wood smoke, freshly baked bread, and beeswax.

Taste: An oily, viscous mouthfeel with a gentle peppery sensation on the palate. Baked apples, fudge, and gentle citrus flavors.

Finish: Floral orange blossom and honey, hints of eucalyptus oil, and sweet aniseed, along with some leather and oak. The addition of water brings more tropical fruits and an intensified citrus note, like dried zest of clementine. A long finish ends with classic wood spices and oak shavings.