Glenmorangie Allta, ~8 YO, 51.2 %
For 10 years now Glenmorangie Distillery have released the series Private Edition, where they push boundaries and show their more creative side. This year’s 10th anniversary bottling, Glenmorangie Allta, truly is quite unique in that it has been produced using a local strain of wild yeast.
The yeast strain was discovered by Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks at Glenmorangie. Dr Bill has a background in micro biology and research in fermentation processes. When he was studying Glenmorangie’s own, local variant of barley, Cadboll, in his laboratory he made an exciting discovery. He found the a new strain of wild yeast (saccharomyces diaemath). Over time he cultivated this yeast strain and used it in production together with the Cadboll barley to create Glenmorangie Allta.
The name Allta (pronounced ‘al-ta’) was chosen as it is Scots Gaelic for wild’. Glenmorangie Allta has been matured in a mix of 1st and 2nd fill bourbon casks, and has been bottled at an ABV of 51.2 %.
The experimentation with the wild yeast started around 2010, so we can assume this whisky is about 8 years old.
Nose: Fresh, baked bread. Vanilla and dry sawdust. Light floral character. Hints of leather. With time banana cake, and mango.
Taste: Rich and full-bodied. Acacia honey drizzled over assorted fruits; apple, banana and mango. Vanilla and again something vaguely floral. It also has a certain spiciness to it; black and white pepper mainly. Almond paste.
Finish: Medium long finish. Continues as it started, then slowly fades away. More spicy and less sweet towards the end.
Comment: Certainly a more going on here than one normally gets from Glenmorangie. Fairly complex and challenging in a good way.