Scots Gaelic for “skilled and ingenious,” Ealanta is a 19-year-old Glenmorangie that’s been matured exclusively in virgin American white oak casks from the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains.
Glenmorangie, a Highland distiller, is renowned for its research into the effect of wood on whisky maturation and its previous expressions in the Private Edition range have been aged in barrels previously used for sherry and Tuscan wine. All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years
“It’s no secret in our industry that it’s the ‘wood that makes the whisky’ and for many years my team and I have been carrying out detailed research in this area,” Dr. Bill Lumsden, the company’s distilling and whisky creation director, said in a press release. “Ealanta is an experiment dating from the early 1990s. The casks selected from oaks of the Mark Twain National Forest were absolutely top quality and were unusual in that they had not previously held any liquor, such as bourbon.”
Lumsden said the interaction of the whiskey with the “virgin” wood made for intriguing flavors, which he described as a “huge mouth-filling, buttery, creamy, vanilla flavors – somewhat like a crème brulee topped with almond and marzipan.”
According to the distiller’s tasting notes: “Glenmorangie Ealanta has a soft toffee and butterscotch aroma, followed by vanilla and a curious strong hint of stewed fruits with a hallmark Glenmorangie top note of menthol. On the palate, candied orange peel, sugar coated almonds and sweet vanilla are to the fore, wrapped in an unusual nuttiness reminiscent of Brazil nuts in toffee. The finish is long with virgin oak derived spices such as clove, ginger and a hint of aniseed.“
Glenmorangie Ealanta is bottled at 46 percent abv and is not chill-filtered. It will be available in limited quantities, which once depleted won’t be refilled. New York, a major market for the brand, can expect distribution, said a spokeswoman. The suggested retail price is $119 per 750ml bottle.
Glenmorangie Ealanta is the latest addition to the ongoing limited Private Edition range, comprising, so far, Sonnalta PX (aged in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks), Finealta (aged in American white oak and Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks) and Artein (aged in rare Tuscan wine casks).