Whisky Review: Glenmorangie Private Edition VIII Bacalta
Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky
Origin: Glenmorangie Distillery
What they say:
The eighth release in our multi-award-winning and always intriguing Private Edition, Glenmorangie Bacalta brings new heights of complexity to a rare wood finish. Inspired by the long, balmy days on the island of Madeira, Glenmorangie Bacalta (Scots Gaelic for “baked”) is a sun-soaked single malt which delivers wonderfully warm layers of sweetness, brimming with baked fruits and honeyed tones. It has been created from Glenmorangie first matured in former bourbon casks, then extra-matured in bespoke casks baked under the sun which once contained Malmsey Madeira – the sweetest and most prized of the Madeira wines.
Fragrant, honeyed and sweet. Some ripe apricots, mead-like, and a curious flinty note, followed by sweet white chocolate.
An initial burst of mint toffee, with baked fruits such as caramelised oranges, honeycomb, almonds and dates.
A rich, syrupy aftertaste, with more caramelised citrus and pears, creamy fudge, and an intriguing mentholic sensation in the background.
What I say:
The latest instalment in the Glenmorangie Private Edition series; a series I view as a slightly experimental extension of the Classic Glenmorangie+ collection of Nectar D’or, Quinta Ruban and Lasanta, using rare and unusual casks to finish what is essentially Glenmorangie Original. This time baked Malmsey Madeira casks were used to add sweet, baked fruits and honey.
Soft amber orange, quite refractive gold (7/20), thick & oily legs joined by finer tears
Thick and cloying sweetness, bread pudding, madeira cake, banana bread with lemon and mint drizzle icing, fruity apple, orange, nectarine, peach, apricot, vanilla, white chocolate, mineralic, old oak wood
Murray mints; mint & caramel, polished highland toffee, herbal almost liquorice, fruity orange, apple, peach, eucalyptus, woody oak, spice, savoury mint with a sharpness, mint and orange fudge, more sharp menthol and eucalyptus
Long, syrupy, fudge, sharp menthol/eucalyptus; almost clove oil-like, ripe banana and butter
Whilst there is an addition of sweetness which is well integrated with fruit and baked flavours there is an unmistakable jarring influence here of menthol/eucalyptus usually indicative of exertive wood ageing and a flavour that more commonly arises (or is revealed by default) in casks which add little else (i.e. under-active or exhausted casks). That clearly isn’t the case in this example as these casks were specifically made and treated under exacting conditions for the purpose of maturing this whisky. There were points I enjoyed this and at times I could almost taste something more integrated or familiar but it just kept falling apart on my palate and in the end although you can taste some good ageing & spirit character it just didn’t work as a whole for me as there was an unusual minty nature to this, perhaps over-dried oak wood?, however there are some redeeming features with a substantial sweet and baked fruitiness that was aimed for. I guess the odd combination of mint & orange sums up this whisky, not to my palate; works in places but flips between flavours and is a little disjointed as a whole.
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