Just in time for Chinese New Year, Glenmorangie has added the Ealanta 19-year-old expression to its Private Editions Range. Matured in virgin American white oak casks, the Ealanta is non-chill filtered and has a 46% abv.

Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation at The Glenmorangie Company, speaks of the virgin oaks casks he first discovered in Missouri, United States, in the early 1990s: ”It’s no secret in our industry that it’s the ‘wood that makes the whisky’ and for many years my team and I have been carrying out detailed research in this area. Ealanta is in fact one experiment dating way back to just before I joined the company in the early 1990s.

The casks selected way back then from oaks of the Mark Twain National Forest (Missouri) were absolutely top quality and unusually had not previously held any liquor such as bourbon, so it’s the interaction of our delicate floral spirit from our very tall stills directly with this ‘virgin’ wood that makes for many intriguing flavours. Using virgin oak casks that have been heavily toasted adds huge mouth-filling, buttery, creamy, vanilla flavours – somewhat like a crème brulée topped with almond and marzipan. This makes for a lovely rounded and complex expression of Glenmorangie.”

The Prviate Edition range comprises of three other experimental whiskies: Sonnalta PX, Finealta and Artein.

Tasting Notes for Ealanta:

The nose: a soft toffee and butterscotch aroma, then vanilla and a hint of stewed fruits with a hallmark Glenmorangie top note of menthol.

The palate: leads with candied orange peel, sugar coated almonds and sweet vanilla, wrapped in an unusual nuttiness reminiscent of Brazil nuts in toffee.

The finish: very long with virgin oak derived spices such as clove, ginger and a hint of aniseed.