Meet 3 Delicious Whiskies Inspired by Fortified Wines
Created in stills as tall as a giraffe, they say Glenmorangie’s more delicate spirit is ripe for experimentation. And experiment is just what the Highland Distillery’s Director of Whisky Creation does best! Over 25 years at Glenmorangie, Dr Bill Lumsden has brought to life a multitude of deliciously different whiskies, many by ‘finishing’ aged whisky in wine casks and more, for extra layers of flavour. As his latest small-batch creation, Glenmorangie Malaga Finish, arrives on our shelves, we invite you to explore our three favourite Glenmorangie whiskies created with fortified wine casks – and discover what to enjoy them with.
GLENMORANGIE MALAGA CASK FINISH
With its indulgently sweet and rich tastes, this small-batch 12-year-old limited edition will doubtless be enjoyed by whisky lovers old and new. But how did it come to be? The whisky’s story began when Dr Bill, a wine lover, became enchanted by the sweet, fortified wines made near the ancient city of Malaga in southern Spain. And although Malaga wine casks are almost never used in Scotch whisky, he became intrigued to experiment with casks which once held ‘dulce’ wines – at the sweeter end of Malaga’s range.
Imagining how these casks’ sun-kissed sweetness might enrich Glenmorangie’s famously creamy style, Dr Bill sourced a rare handful from Malaga. Then he filled them with a whisky, previously aged for eight years bourbon casks, planning a unique ‘finish’. The whisky spent a further four years in these casks where it developed rich notes of spices, dates and vibrant citrus. In July 2020, delighted by its tastes, Dr Bill handpicked the very best of these casks to be bottled, as Glenmorangie Malaga Cask Finish.
What to pair it with: Thanks to its wonderful sweetness and gentle spice, this whisky is a great partner for light meats and oily fish. We suggest serving it with baked salmon fillet, on a bed of crushed baby potatoes and braised asparagus. Taking your cheffing to the next level? Whip up a foam with a little of the whisky, to add that expert touch!
Next on our list, is Dr Bill’s award-winning 12-year-old Lasanta, a deliciously rich and spicy single malt. To create Lasanta, whisky is initially matured whisky in bourbon casks, where it develops Glenmorangie’s signature smoothness. Then, this single malt is given a skilful finish in hand-selected oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, also sourced from Spain. Mellowed in these casks, the spirit gains luscious notes of melting honeycomb, toffee, spice and citrus. And with flavours like that, we’re sure you can imagine why The Lasanta is one of our favourites!
What to pair it with: The Lasanta’s richness and notes of spice make it a wonderfully versatile whisky. You can enjoy it alongside cured and spiced meats, cheese, or in desserts. Our pick? Sticky toffee and Lasanta pudding soufflé, with butterscotch sauce and a generous dollop of vanilla ice-cream. Or take inspiration from pastry chef extraordinaire Dominique Ansel’s Chestnut Whisky Affogato.
GLENMORANGIE QUINTA RUBAN
With its ruby red tinge, Dr Bill’s Quinta Ruban takes us straight to Portugal, the home of that celebrated fortified wine – port. Aged first in bourbon casks for smooth, fruity notes and then finished in a selection of different ruby port casks (bigger pipes and smaller barriques), this bold and velvety 14-year-old whisky caresses the senses with its aromas of Turkish delight and tangerine, and tastes of berries, nutmeg and mint chocolate.
What to pair it with: Quinta Ruban’s flavour works particularly well with game and strong red meats. And those chocolatey notes make it ideal for drinking with rich, dark chocolate desserts too. Try it with fillet of roast beef, celeriac puree, sautéed wild mushroom and kale. Or go for a dark chocolate and rose ganache, to bring out the whisky’s hints of Turkish delight. Now where did we put the spoon?