The Latest Glenmorangie Private Edition No. has arrived. Glenmorangie Tusail follows hot on the heels of last year’s Glenmorangie Companta.
Check to see the current Glenmorangie releases here.
The means that the list of Private Edition releases now looks like this,
Sonnalta PX – finished in old Pedro Ximenez (dessert) Sherry casks
Artein – finished in ex- Sassicaia casks (one of the first Super-Tuscans)
Finealta – a recreation of the Glenmorangie blend from the early 1900s with a small amount of peated malt
Ealanta – a 19 Year Old whisky aged in virgin American white oak casks sourced from trees grown in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri
Companta – no-age statement whiskey finished or “extra-matured” in casks that have previously held wine from the Burgundy Grand Cru, Clos de Tart (Pinot Noir), and casks that previously held a “lusciously sweet fortified wine from the Côtes du Rhône”
Tusail – made with Maris Otter “rare grain” barley
So What is Glenmorangie Tusail?
Glenmorangie Tusail is a single malt Highland whisky made from a very rare, but legendary, winter barley called Maris Otter. This strain of barley was bred by Dr G D H Bell and his team of plant breeders in Cambridge with the express purpose of producing give consistently high quality malt for the cask-conditioned ale market. Maris Otter was introduced to the market in 1966 (or 1965 depending on what you read) and was popular for many years until cross-pollination, the use of uncertified seed and the introduction of much higher yielding varieties saw its popularity decline significantly.
However, there was still demand for Maris Otter from high-quality brewers and much work was done in the 1990s by the seed-merchant owners of the Maris Otter barley strain to clean up the genetics of the strain. Today, after a risk of the strain being consigned to history, it is used to make many fine English beers such as Maris Otter Vintage Ale from Stroud Brewery, many of the beers at the Otter Brewery in Devon and at Brecon Brewing in Powys.
All the while Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of distilling and whisky creation, had remembered about this grain and ordered a batch of Maris Otter winter barley and arranged for it to be traditionally floor malted, distilling a batch of new make spirit and laying it away into a handful of carefully selected designer casks. Bottled at 46% ABV with no age statement and non chill filtered. And the name? Tùsail is the Scots Gaelic for originary, an homage to the Maris Otter barley variety.
Of Glenmorangie Tusail Dr Bill Lumsden says, “When we heard the story of those determined to preserve such a flavoursome grain, their ethos – and the barley itself – seemed the perfect match for a Glenmorangie single malt. I knew its deep flavour profile would provide an intriguing contrast to Glenmorangie’s more delicate house style, creating a whisky to enchant connoisseurs.”
Glenmorangie Tusail Tasting Notes
Deep, earthy, robust aromas; malty, biscuity tones with a backbone of nut toffee.
Rich, rustic flavours of nut toffee, sweet barley malt, ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and dates, complementing more familiar Glenmorangie notes of peaches, oranges and smoked pears.