Glenmorangie’s new home for imagination – Scotch Whisky News

Glenmorangie’s new home for imagination

— Ground-breaking innovation distillery opens door to game-changing, spirit-led whiskies

Today, Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky opens the doors to its ground-breaking innovation distillery – a place which promises to bring a kaleidoscope of delicious new flavours to whisky. Here, at the heart of the Highland Distillery, whisky makers will redefine every aspect of their craft to create game-changing, spirit-led Glenmorangies.

Glenmorangie has been pushing single malt boundaries for decades. From pioneering wood finishing to Glenmorangie Signet unparalleled mocha flavours, and the ground-breaking Private Edition series, Director of Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden is endlessly experimental in his quest to dream up delicious whiskies for more people to enjoy. His “What if…?” approach has inspired the Lighthouse, the first on-site innovation distillery dedicated to a single malt brand and created solely for experimentation. Conceived to bring Dr Bill’s most extraordinary ideas to life, it is a playground where he and his team can let their imaginations run wild.

The multi-million-pound Lighthouse is named for its landmark approach to whisky. Like an actual lighthouse, the 20m-high stillhouse can be seen for miles around. Offering unique flexibility with ingredients and processes, it is designed for deliciousness, rather than yield. Key areas of innovation include:

  • Stillhouse: Equipped with two of the giraffe-high stills which enable Glenmorangie’s delicate, fruity spirit. But the new stills feature a host of modifications which allow them to alter spirit character by acting as if they were shorter – or even taller.
  • Brewhouse: Constructed in the traditional style of the main Distillery, this stone building offers scope for myriad experiments with barley, water and yeast during mashing and brewing.
  • Sensory laboratory: Above the stillhouse, with coastal views, the laboratory offers Dr Bill’s team the rare chance to study raw spirit and play with their experiments as they evolve.

Dr Bill said: “Our Lighthouse is the new home of imagination. Here, we’ll indulge our most fantastical ideas as we strive to create a whole array of different flavours. We will play with raw ingredients and make small adjustments and big changes in ways never tried before. Nothing is off limits, as long as it’s delicious.”

Thomas Moradpour, President and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “Global demand for Glenmorangie is growing significantly. The first of its kind, our Lighthouse experimental distillery is the keystone of our plans to stay at the forefront of taste innovation. By giving our talented creation team free rein, we will welcome even more consumers worldwide to enjoy delicious whiskies.”

To mark the Lighthouse opening, Glenmorangie is releasing a mouth-wateringly soft and fruity whisky, limited to 3,000 bottles. Glenmorangie Lighthouse is created with bourbon and sherry casks now encased in the Lighthouse’s walls. Aged 12 years and available only at the Distillery, its spectrum of flavours is a sign of all the wondrous whiskies yet to come, RRP: £85.

https://www.glenmorangie.com/

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About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie’s whisky makers use endless imagination and five key ingredients – wood, water, barley, yeast and time – to dream up delicious single malt whiskies. They’ve been honing their craft for more than 175 years. They create a delicate and fruity spirit in stills as tall as an adult giraffe to allow for more taste and aroma. Led by Director of Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden, this crackerjack crew are on a mission to bring new flavours and possibilities to the world of single malt.

Glenmorangie celebrates the joy of delicious single malt in every part of its universe, from Glenmorangie House to its colourful new brand campaign, shot by famed photographer Miles Aldridge. With its tagline “It’s kind of delicious and wonderful”, Glenmorangie invites whisky lovers old and new to see themselves in Glenmorangie’s world.

About the Lighthouse Distillery:

The innovation distillery stands at the heart of Glenmorangie’s Highland Distillery, with its 20m-high glass stillhouse a new landmark for the site where Glenmorangie has been creating its single malt since 1843. Looking out over the Dornoch Firth, Glenmorangie’s Lighthouse recalls the many lighthouses dotted along Scotland’s dramatic coastline, originally built to help sailors navigate coastal waters. Designed by Paris-based Barthélémy Griño Architects, it will give Glenmorangie’s whisky creators unparalleled flexibility at all stages of their whisky-making, enabling them to vary the character of their spirit as never before. The innovation distillery has been created for experimentation rather than yield. Areas of innovation include:

  • The Lighthouse: This stunning glass tower offers all Glenmorangie’s visitors a glimpse of its two copper stills. Modelled on the 12 giraffe-high stills in Glenmorangie’s main still house, these new stills have been custom-designed by the Distillery’s whisky creators. Their many additional modifications will enable them to alter Glenmorangie’s spirit character in ways previously unimagined. For instance, by being made able to act as if they are shorter, they can create a heavier spirit, more akin to that created at Glenmorangie’s sister distillery, Ardbeg. By contrast, the stills can also be made to act as if they are even taller, to create a spirit even lighter than that which Glenmorangie already creates. Behind the Lighthouse’s glass façade is a wood-aluminium hybrid cladding. To reflect the delicious impact that wood has had on Glenmorangie’s taste over time, the cladding has been created with the bourbon and sherry casks used to create the limited expression Glenmorangie Lighthouse.
  • The Brewhouse: Next door, in this traditional-style building, experiments with barley, water and yeast will take place during mashing and brewing. These stand-alone facilities (including a mash tun custom-designed to influence spirit character by creating different clarities of wort) mean that the Lighthouse can operate entirely of its own accord. This allows its experimental work to continue unhindered, while the main Distillery remains dedicated to satisfying the world’s growing demand for Glenmorangie’s delicious signature single malt.
  • The Sensory Laboratory: Crucially, the position of the sensory lab, and the innovative nature of the distillery means that the team will be able to study raw spirit, rather than the mature spirit they would more usually work with. They will be able to assess their experiments after every six-hour spirit run, enjoying the flexibility to alter recipes in ways which would never be possible in the main Distillery. Complete with a tasting room and terrace, this floor will also give spectacular views of the neighbouring Dornoch Firth, to inspire those inside.
  • Power source: Glenmorangie is committed to preserving and sustaining its wonderful Highland surroundings. As a result, the Lighthouse will be partly powered by biogas, created in Glenmorangie’s own anaerobic digestion plant, from the by-products of distillation. 

About Dr Bill Lumsden:

Dr Bill Lumsden’s favourite phrase is “What if?”. And throughout more than 25 years with Glenmorangie, the Distillery’s Creative Director has challenged himself and his team to take whatever captures their imaginations and turn it into whisky – be that the spirit and flavour of Glenmorangie’s homeland (the Cadboll Estate series), the magic of a cake moment (Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake), a cup of coffee (Glenmorangie Signet), and more. With a PhD in biochemistry and decades of experience, Dr Bill has all the skills needed to bring these ideas to life. Already, he has earned the admiration of his peers many times over. He features in the Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame. He has won the International Whisky Competition’s award for Master Distiller of the Year more times than anyone else. And he was named twice Master Blender/Distiller of the Year by the International Spirits Challenge.

About Glenmorangie Lighthouse:

This soft, fruity 12-year-old limited edition is inspired by the wondrous flavours yet to emerge from the Lighthouse innovation distillery. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks, it is uniquely bonded with its namesake: fragments of its casks are embedded in the walls of the Lighthouse, where they will play their part in the Distillery’s whisky creation for years to come. Just 3,000 numbered bottles exist.

Tasting Notes:

Glenmorangie Lighthouse is non chill-filtered and bottled at 48% ABV.

Colour: Bright sparkling gold

Nose: Fresh, bright, clean and perfumed, with soft velvety vanilla, fresh red apples, honeycomb and the merest whisper of oak. With water, a curious ‘green’ note like fresh pepper and olive.

Taste: A silky mouthfeel leads into honey, almond, milk chocolate, apricot and fudge, with hints of icing sugar, baked oranges, honeydew melon, and, again very much in the background, soft, sweet resinous oak wood.

Finish: More orange, vanilla and oaky notes. 

RRP: £85, available exclusively from the Distillery Visitor Centre.

About Glenmorangie’s pioneering work in wood finishing:

Glenmorangie is widely celebrated for putting wood-finished whisky on the map, creating a new category of single malt. The art of wood finishing involves transferring aged single malt into wine casks or other cask types to add even more delicious layers of flavour. Taking what was a fledgling idea when he joined Glenmorangie in 1995, Dr Bill experimented with an imaginative array of cask types, ranging from claret (1997) to fino sherry (1998) and Côte de Nuits wine (2000). In this way, Glenmorangie has brought to life myriad new tastes and begun a new trend in world whisky. Over the next two decades, much of the industry has followed suit.

About Glenmorangie Signet:

Released in 2008, Glenmorangie Signet is arguably the most innovative Scotch whisky created for generations. Dr Bill first dreamed of this whisky years before, as he enjoyed a cup of his favourite Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. That simple pleasure filled his mind with spiralling mocha flavours. It would take him years to bring Signet to life, but its notes of tiramisu and melting chocolate reflect his most delicious imaginings. Signet’s origins lie in Glenmorangie’s precious chocolate malt spirit, made just once a year from barley which has been tumble-roasted, rather like coffee beans. Its espresso-like intensity fills the Distillery with aromas more familiar in an Italian coffee bar. Over the years, its power is tempered with rare and treasured casks: bourbon for creaminess, sherry for sweetness and the spice of virgin charred oak, all balanced by some of Glenmorangie’s oldest stocks. The result is a velvet explosion of flavour, so adored by the experts that Signet was named IWC Whisky of the Year in 2016.

About Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series:

This award-winning series of experimental limited editions has showcased Glenmorangie’s imaginative ways over a decade, with a number of world firsts. Among its 10 delicious releases are:

  • Glenmorangie Artein, a deep and rich whisky, the first single malt Scotch whisky finished in Super Tuscan wine barrels;
  • Glenmorangie Companta, a spicy and sweet whisky, the first single malt Scotch whisky part-finished in Clos de Tart casks;
  • Glenmorangie Tùsail, a rich, rustic whisky, the first single malt Scotch whisky created with rare Maris Otter barley;
  • Glenmorangie Spìos, a subtly spiced whisky, the first single malt Scotch whisky fully matured in ex-American rye whisky casks;

Glenmorangie Allta, a fruity, rich whisky, the first single malt Scotch whisky created from the wild yeast that grows on Glenmorangie’s barley.

Responsible Drinking:

The Glenmorangie Company advocates responsible drinking and suggests that drinkers savour Glenmorangie whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

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