Whisky Focus - Glenmorangie Bacalta Private Edition Review

Glenmorangie Bacalta Private Edition Review

31st January 2017

The Glenmorangie Bacalta is the latest release in the Private Edition series which was finished in Malmsey Madeira casks.

Glenmorangie Bacalta Private Edition ReviewA new year and as we have now come to expect around this time of year a new addition to the acclaimed Glenmorangie Private Edition series. Glenmorangie today announced the 8th release in the series, the Glenmorangie Bacalta.

Bacalta, which is Scots Gaelic for ‘baked’, is the work of Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation and is the first Glenmorangie expression finished entirely in sun-baked Malmsey Madeira casks.

Glenmorangie tell me that Dr Bill arranged for bespoke American oak casks to be created from tight-grained, air-seasoned American oak staves and the casks were heavily toasted. The casks were then seasoned to Dr Bill's specifications by Malmsey wine, which is a very sweet and highly rated Madeira wine. The wine was baked to maturity as the casks lay in the heat of Madeira’s sun. These casks were emptied, shipped to Scotland and filled with specially selected spirit which had already matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Glenmorangie say that the Malmsey casks have lent complex layers of sweetness to the new Glenmorangie Bacalta.

Given Glenmorangie's excellent track record with previous Private Edition releases I have very high hopes for this one as in my experience a good whisky with a good Madeira wine cask influence can be outstanding. Some of you may recall the fruity sweet Glenmorangie Madeira Wood Finish from around 10 years ago which was a decent enough dram which was slightly lacking in quality and hence never quite got the same acclaim as other whiskies in the Glenmorangie Wood Finish range at that time, fingers crossed the Glenmorangie Bacalta is outstanding and worthy of its place in the Private Edition series.

As soon as I taste the new Glenmorangie Bacalta I will add my review below.

Glenmorangie Bacalta is non chill-filtered, bottled at 46% ABV, it has a RRP of £79 and will be available from specialist whisky shops such as Master of Malt

Glenmorangie Bacalta Private Edition Review

Review added 8th February 2017.

Bottled at 46% ABV, and non-chill filtered, a limited release although the numbers have not been revealed but I would guess there is enough to go around. RRP £79

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose:  An enticingly sweet nose with a hint of moss. Honey, vanilla and sweet candied orange marmalade form a backdrop to fresh croissant and over ripe grape.

Taste: Toffee and spice lead the way followed closely by a mix of sweet and zesty caramelised orange, honey, gentle mouth coating pepper, a little nuttiness, mossy and touch of drying oak.

Finish: A lovely long rich and a little spicy finish, the orange citrus and spice fades becoming a little earthy.

Comment: I thought it would be sweeter going by the nose but it wasn't overly sweet at all which can sometimes be a problem with a Madeira cask finish were a whisky ends up too sweet, this was spot on. It isn't at the top of the Glenmorangie Private Edition League but it certainly qualifies to be in this elite group. Madeira cask matured whisky can be hit or miss and this has worked as well as any Madeira will with the Glenmorangie spirit. Another quality and interesting expression from Glenmorangie to experience on your whisky journey.

SMW Score 87/100

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