Spirit’s elegant past inspires the rare sophistication of Glenmorangie Spìos
Glenmorangie’s first single malt whisky fully matured in American ex-rye whiskey casks is today revealed as the ninth release in the Highland Distillery’s acclaimed Private Edition series. On an annual basis, Glenmorangie invites whisky aficionados to explore its passion for innovation through this award-winning collection of rare and intriguing limited-edition single malts. The Glenmorangie Private Edition for 2018 is eagerly anticipated by connoisseurs; Glenmorangie Spìos exhibits a sophistication and subtle spice inspired by American rye whiskey’s golden era.
With its uniquely savoury and full-bodied character, Glenmorangie Spìos (Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’ and pronounced ‘spee-oss’) perfectly recalls the glittering heyday of American rye whiskey. In the early 20th century, rye was feted at the country’s most prestigious saloons, where its distinctive, spicy style inspired classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan. But, over time, the spirit fell from favour and slipped into obscurity, where it would remain for years to come.
In the late 1990s, as Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, travelled to the U.S., the rare cinnamon and clove notes of this scarce whiskey caught his imagination. Aware that a spirit of Glenmorangie’s renowned smoothness could invite rye’s subtleties to shine through in a way that many others would not, he determined to one day bring a hint of American rye whiskey’s bygone elegance to the Distillery’s renowned Private Edition.
To make Glenmorangie Spìos, Dr Bill sourced the finest first-fill casks from American rye whiskey’s heartland of Kentucky. And long before the rye resurgence of today began, he arranged for these hand-selected oak casks to be shipped across the world, to the Glenmorangie Distillery, deep in the Scottish Highlands. There, over the years, they began to impart their intriguing flavours to the pure and smooth spirit which emerges from Glenmorangie’s signature copper stills – the tallest in Scotland.
Dr Bill said: “I have always loved American rye whiskey’s spicy character, and I believed our Distillery’s smooth house style would perfectly complement the nuances of ex-rye casks. The result is Glenmorangie Spìos – a full-bodied, savoury single malt whisky which brings to mind American rye whiskey’s golden age. Its fresh, herbal nose hints at cherry, clove and scents of green grass.
Then rye’s spice bursts on to the palate, as toffee, clove and cinnamon mingle with buttery
vanilla, before a sweet and lingering finish. I hope connoisseurs and collectors will enjoy
this latest innovative release in our Private Edition – a single malt whisky which is unmistakeably Glenmorangie, yet exquisitely different.”