Thanks to /u/ScotchChick for pouring me a sample of this dram.
I’ll be honest, as I typically am: For a few years, I skipped over the Glenmorangie special releases.
Yes, I’ve reviewed a few of them. Like today’s, Glenmorangie Bacalta, not around the time they came out. Why? Well, there’re a few reasons.
The first is the easiest: Ealanta. A cracker dram if I ever had one. And while I liked Compagnta after it, I realized that it was really, really hard to follow. Like those poor roller-skating chimps that came on after the Beatles on the Tonight Show. Little buggers never had a chance.
So while I’d love to keep up, I left them to the side. And then I tried the recent one, Spios. Frankly, I expected a gimmick and ended up really, really liking it. And then realized that maybe, just maybe, I was incorrect about others.
So today we have Glenmorangie Bacalta, ex-bourbon aged and then finished in Madeira casks. I for one have been examining where I fall on the “ex-Madeira” cask spectrum, which if you’re wondering, isn’t the only spectrum I probably fall on. Granted you’ve been reading these reviews, so I didn’t need to tell you that.
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Cask Types used: Ex-bourbon, then finished in Madeira Casks
Colour: 2.5Y 8/10
Nose: Sour pear, blackberries, oak, raisin, sunflowers/cereal
Initially quite tart, and then slightly more tart. Give this time, as it relaxes into more of a Two Scoops type of flavour if you get my subtle hint.
Fruity, cereal, and oak. Needs time to open up, and then gives you a lot more than the initial nose gives off.
Taste: Sunflower, honey, charred caramel, soy milk, cereal
The cereal train continues with honey and floral elements. The obvious heavy toasting of the Madeira casks is obvious here, with some of that char coming through.
Plays with more and more cereal with time. Eventually, there’s Vita Soy on the taste, and that’s confusing to my brain, though nice.
Finish: Honey, yeasty bread, almond milk, butter
Finish is very close to an Irish whiskey. Lots of drier elements, some honey, and that big yeast element is quite obviously Irish. Which means only one thing…
They recreated the taste. What, did you think I was going to say Dr. Bill went on some sort of Ocean’s 11 crazy heist to Midleton? Please…
That’s next years plans. Duh.
Conclusion: Irish whiskey-like. Very much hits those cereal notes, and goes in a new direction for Glenmorangie. While I personally am still figuring out what I like about Madeira casks and whisky and how they fit together, this specific whisky had me guessing and exploring cereal in very different and unique ways. It was fruity to start, and then cereal to carry you through.
Like Irish whiskey? This is a pickup. Like cereal notes? Again, a good pick up. Like ex-Madeira casks? Maybe for you. Might be a bit different than what you’re ready for.
Scotch review #987, Highland review #164, Whisky Network review #1544