Whisky Focus - Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo

Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo


28th September 2023
Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo is the next instalment in Glenmorangie's 'Tale Of', this release is the result of an experiment with the rarest of Japanese Mizunara oak casks.

Glenmorangie A Tale of TokyoBlending vibrant, daring flavours with gentle sweetness, Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo emerges as a single malt whisky brimming with captivating sensory contradictions, much like the city it's named after. Tokyo, Japan's bustling capital, has long served as a wellspring of creative inspiration for Dr. Bill Lumsden, the globetrotting whisky craftsman behind Glenmorangie. Here, he seamlessly harmonises the lively urban streets with tranquil gardens and time-honoured traditions with cutting-edge modernity.

Drawing inspiration from his numerous journeys to Tokyo and an eagerness to experiment with the rarest of Japanese Mizunara oak casks, Dr. Bill has crafted a limited edition expression distinguished by enchanting paradoxes. Within this whisky's flavour spectrum, the piquancy of pepper encounters the bitterness of cherries and coconut, while tantalizing notes of orange zest meld with incense and sweet oak. In the finish, one can discern the classic Glenmorangie flavours of mandarin, almond, and marzipan.

For 180 years, Glenmorangie's whisky creators have pursued unceasing experimentation in their quest to concoct delectable whiskies. Today this experimentation is guided by Glenmorangie's visionary Director of Whisky Creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, they transmute whatever captures their imagination into the realm of whisky. Some time ago, while traversing Japan to share the joys of Glenmorangie far and wide, Dr. Bill pondered the prospect of formulating a single malt that encapsulated Tokyo's diverse pleasures. He also pondered the potential influence of intricate Japanese Mizunara oak on the Highland distillery's delicate, floral character. Following a tireless quest, he succeeded in securing a limited quantity of Mizunara casks renowned for imparting an unmistakable and extraordinary flavour to whisky. He artfully balanced the resulting distinctive and bold notes from Japanese oak with Glenmorangie aged in both bourbon and sherry casks, thereby creating a beautifully balanced whisky that encapsulates Tokyo's intriguing juxtapositions.

To breathe life into the vibrant inspiration and flavours embodied by A Tale of Tokyo, Glenmorangie collaborated with the Japanese artist Yamaguchi Akira. Through his artistic lens, Yamaguchi presents a playful interpretation of the city's rich layers of history and culture, adorning each bottle and its packaging with his unique artwork. This artwork melds his signature maximalist bird's-eye view style with Glenmorangie's technicolour palette, juxtaposing iconic landmarks and attributes from both Tokyo and the Highland Distillery. Traditional Japanese pastimes are intertwined with nods to the whisky's flavours. From Tokyo Tower and Ueno Park to Glenmorangie's towering stills and lush Mizunara oak trees, his work conceals intricate, hidden discoveries, including several discreet figures of Dr. Bill scattered throughout.

Dr Bill Lumsden said: "Iím lucky to have travelled widely over the years sharing Glenmorangie around the world whilst also gathering new inspiration for whisky creations, and Tokyo has always been one of my favourite places. Iím fascinated by the contradictions between its bustling streets and tranquil gardens, ancient and modern buildings, its many sensory experiences and its culture. My time there over the years made me wonder whether I could capture my experience of Tokyo, and these beautiful intricacies, in whisky form.

"I partly matured a proportion of Glenmorangie spirit in rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks, which Iíve been curious to experiment with for some time. The influence of this wood is incredibly complex and unusual; it required balance and softening with Glenmorangie matured in bourbon and sherry casks, and the result is a dram as full of delicious sensory contrasts as a trip to Tokyo."

Yamaguchi Akira said: "Itís been a joy to collaborate with Glenmorangie to bring Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo to life through my art. The idea of my residing home conjures up so many different thoughts and feelings, and my work reflects Tokyoís contrasts in many ways. Incorporating hints about Glenmorangie and its whisky really appealed to my sense of playfulness."

Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo has recently been awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023. It will be available from Selfridges exclusively from 1st to 15th October, then be available from 16th October onwards at
specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt
 

Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo Review


Bottled at 46% ABV.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Powerfully herbal, with hints of toffee contrasted by incense and saddle-soap, followed by a resinous note and a touch of cedar wood.

Taste: A peppery mouthfeel leads into notes of tangy oranges and bitter cherries alongside fennel and chewy oak.

Finish: Long and gently nutty, with hints of almond, mandarin, ground white pepper and more wood resin.
 

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