Glenmorangie Allta Private Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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Glenmorangie Allta Private Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Highlands, SCOTLAND
$199. 00
$2388.00 Dozen
ABV: 51.2%

Note: Product has come from a private collection and as such has some minor scuffing/scratches/handling marks. Actual product not pictured.

Note: No gift box supplied.

Wild yeasts, a charged-up 51.2% ABV plus zero chill filtration make for a delicious, full bodied Glenmorangie.

Glenmorangie has unveiled the tenth release in its Private Edition series.
Allta (which translates as “wild”) is a whisky fermented using yeasts from Glenmorangie's signature Cadboll barley (best known for its use in Signet). It's a first for Glenmorangie and unusual for Scotch single malt generally. While fermenting with different yeasts for added flavour is common in the wine industry, for the Scots, the pursuit of consistency and yield has driven them to use a near-universal strain - Saccharomyces cerevisiae - super efficient in creating alcohol but contributing near neutral flavour. Instead, whisky makers have focused on other aspects of their craft to influence taste, especially maturation. Part of the problem is viability - not all yeasts are suitable for use in distilling. The flavours they can offer also tend to be strain dependent, and that's the key-concept behind Glenmorangie's Allta.

Head of Whisky Production, Bill Lumsden happens to be a yeast physiologist by training. Recalling a conversation with the legendary late whisky and beer writer, Michael Jackson who mentioned a 'house' yeast once held at Glenmorangie, Lumsden sent a barley sample grown in local fields (Cadboll), to be tested in the laboratory. Saccharomyces diaemath was growing on it, and it turned out to be ideal for creating whisky.

Further differentiating Allta from the majority of Private Editions is an absence of exotic casks (Companta was aged in Clos de Tart casks, Malmsey Madeira casks added richness to Bacalta and rye whiskey casks made for something quite different in Spios). Allta was simply matured in second-fill and refill x Bourbon casks. The aim was to let the malt do the talking. Likewise, Lumsden originally had a fifteen year target for Allta. He elected to bottle earlier when he noticed the fruit vs oak ratio seemed at its peak. Also notable is the deviation from the standard Private Edition ABV of 46%. This one sports a charged-up 51.2% and it shows in the flavour. It's a big Glenmorangie and combined with zero chill filtration, it all adds up to a very fragrant, very flavoursome dram. Will Allta be a beacon for future Scotch whiskies? Let's wait and see.

Tasting note: Bright amber gold. Aromatically, one of the heaviest Glenmorangie's to date, thick with fruity malt, shortbread, peach flan and vanilla. Second pass further accents the ripe stone fruit qualities as well as introducing flashes of triple sec, apricot pastry and sponge cake, the sweetness checked by light menthol and pepper. Full bodied, with a strong fruity-malt emphasis. Juicy, vibrant, zesty, medium dry entry, the mid palate evoking tea biscuits, orange spice cake and fruit pastries, then almost Bourbonesque to finish in an intriguing combination of vanilla, orange zest, pepper and rye-like mintiness. Not what you'd expect from this distillery, but a lot of fun. It's a flamboyant whisky that should have wide appeal. 51.2% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... As we’ve become accustomed to with the Glenmorangie Private Edition range, the Glenmorangie DNA is never far from the surface, but there’s some significant complexity and diversity in this to make it notably different to the flagship 10yo “Original”. Regardless of any fancy gaelic name or exotic yeast treatment, the simple question to ask is, “Is this delicious?” The answer is a resounding “Yes”. -