Glenmorangie’s Private Edition 10-year old have become collector’s items for whisky aficionados. For its tenth anniversary of the Private Edition series, the brand recently introduced something really special to a select group of media at the Athletic Club & Social in Cape Town, by way of the launch of Allta (Scots Gaelic for ‘wild’ and pronounced ‘al-ta’). Through this, the tenth edition, the distillery reveals the importance of yeast to Scotch whisky’s myriad flavours. Paired with a succession of courses of food on the evening to celebrate the previous nine Private Editions and take guests on a journey of the progression of the whiskies themselves, the Allta was the culmination of the occasion, introduced through virtual tasting via video feed by Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks.
Since 2009, the series has allowed the Whisky Creation Team to explore rare cask finishes, experiment with raw ingredients and give their imagination free rein. Dr Bill said: “Glenmorangie Allta is a worthy whisky with which to mark the Private Edition’s tenth anniversary. Yeast’s influence on taste has been overlooked for years, but it’s an area ripe for exploration.”
What makes this extra special is the fact that this yeast was developed especially by Dr Bill for this particular whisky. With a background in yeast physiology, he’s always remained keenly aware of yeast’s potential in shaping the flavour of the whisky itself rather than just being instrumental in the process. Acting on his intuition, he sent a sample of the barley grown in fields near Glenmorangie’s Highland home, Cadboll, to be tested in a laboratory. There, he found that the yeast those ears housed – Saccharomyces diaemath – was ideal for creating whisky. He arranged for this type of yeast to be cultivated by Glenmorangie’s yeast supplier. Then, when the barley on which it had grown was ready for use in the Distillery, he brought them together in the whisky-making process.
Glenmorangie Allta is non-chill filtered and bottled at 51.2% ABV.
Colour: Pale straw
Nose: Rounded, with biscuity, yeasty tones. Gentle floral notes of carnations and Parma violets, baking bread, very gentle vanilla, soft raisins and sweet mandarin orange.
Taste: A crisp citrus bite to the mouthfeel. Butter candy, creamy vanilla, orange syrup with slightly yeasty background. Gentle mint, the tiniest hint of sweet chilli and delicate, dancing, floral notes.
Finish: Long and earthy with hints of bittersweet orange and peppermint.