This whisky, the third in Glenmorangie's Tale series, was created using malt that had been flavor-infused by peat fires with juniper berries, birch bark, and heather flowers. The bottle comes in a vibrant packaging created by Thai artist Pomme Chan and was matured in a variety of bourbon casks. Glenmorangie director of whiskey production Dr. Bill Lumsden created this whisky around a decade years ago, after taking a trip in the woods, noting the colorful and scented leaves, trees, and botanicals around him.
Dr. Bill Lumsden is renowned for pushing the limits of scotch whiskey, and as a result of his research, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has repeatedly requested an explanation of his procedures to assure conformity with SWA regulations. He is skilled at navigating the rules to create novel flavors, whether it was when his pioneering use of finishing began to investigate non-oak cask finishing or when he chose to employ dark roasted malts in Glenmorangie Signet and Ardbeg Ardcore. For this expression, Lumsden and his colleagues spent two years investigating several natural materials in an effort to determine which of them released heat and flavor when they burnt. Lumsden was only able to release these new expressions after demonstrating to the SWA that similar methods have been used in scotch whisky in the past. Iain Russell, a Glenmorangie archivist, found proof that the distillery had dried the malted barley using heather, bog myrtle, and birch instead of peat. Balvenie Distillery has experimented with flavoring malt with heather, and Mackmyra Distillery in Sweden adds juniper twigs to its peat fires while kilning.
Although some of the ingredients in this new whiskey may be similar to those in botanical gins, Lumsden claims it was never his desire to imitate other alcoholic beverages. Gin was absolutely not in my cognitive process, he says. "I was merely considering some of the resources I may come upon near the distillery."
The Tale series, which took the place of Glenmorangie Private Edition, received high marks from our tasting panel, with A Tale of Cake earning 93 points and A Tale of Winter earning 93 points.