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Whisky expert Jim Murray picks Bourbon-style, single-malt Scotch as 2014 World Whisky of The Year

Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible 2014The well-respected English whiskey expert Jim Murray has picked a single-malt Scotch whiskey distilled as Scotch but matured in the style of American bourbon, as World Whiskey of the Year in the just published 2014 edition of his “Whisky Bible.”

Murray awarded 97.5 points out of 100 — his highest score this year — to the whisky, Glenmorangie Ealanta, a limited bottling.

Glenmorangie’s Ealanta, released in January as the fourth annual release in the company’s Private Edition range, is a 19-year-old expression, fully matured in virgin American white oak casks with a provenance that stretches all the way to the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri.

Ealanta’s innovative aroma and taste profile blew Murray away, he said. “It gave an aroma and taste profile completely new to me in over 30 years of tasting whisky.”

He described it as having “one of the longest finishes of any Scotch this year … and borderline perfection.”

Murray tasted more than 1,100 new whiskies from around the globe that reached market in the last year for the 10th anniversary edition of his popular whisky reference.Ealanta Packshot

“This is major coup for us,” said Dr. Bill Lumsden, director of distilling and whisky creation at Glenmorangie. “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.”  Lumsden,  a  pioneer in researching into the effect of wood on whisky maturation, is also well known for traveling the world to search out the best oak casks in which to mature his whisky.

 

Published by Dram Good Books priced at $19.99, the “2014 Whisky Bible” is available in bookshops and liquor stores throughout the world. Signed copies by the author can be purchased at www.whiskybible.com

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Glenmorangie adds a 1993 ‘virgin’ American oak single malt, Ealanta

Ealanta PackshotFans of Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky will soon have something  to cheer about: a new expression to sample, Glenmorangie Ealanta, part of the distiller‘s Private Edition range.

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).

 

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