70cl // 46.0% ABV
Launched in 2013, Glenmorangie Ealanta is an astonishing single malt which comes from the distillery’s superb range of wood experiments. In this case, however, the whisky was fully matured in specially sourced, heavily toasted new white oak casks from Missouri’s Ozark mountains. It was named “Ealanta” for the Gaelic for “skilled” and “ingenious”.
Jim Murray clearly felt the name was apt as he named it his World Whisky of the Year for 2014.
Nose: All about Orange Zest. The ethereal long necks of Glenmorangie’s stills are famed for producing a light, fruity and almost zesty spirit, and this characteristic is turned up to 11 in this release. You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d just been handed an old-fashioned cocktail.
Palate: Yet more candied orange, tropical fruit, a touch of vanilla, and an all-pervading sweetness that leaves you in absolutely no doubt about the fact that this has come from fresh oak.
Finish: This is where the maturity starts to shine through. The complex ethereal nature of the fruit begins to fade, and gives way to a familiar high-note of rancio and dried figs.
Overall: Yes. This is my kind of whisky. Big, brash, packed full of flavour, and not in any way hiding from – or apologising for – what it is.