Glenmorangie Scotch Uncorks Grand Vintage Malt 1998 Edition
The ultra premium $900 bottle contains some of the first liquid from the distillery aged in new charred oak barrels.
Plenty has changed in the world of Scotch since 1998, to be clear, but the best things take time and often harken back to the past, as with Glenmorangie‘s just-released Grand Vintage Malt 1998.
Sipping on this stunning $900 whisky is like entering a time of machine of sorts, back to the days when then-newly appointed Director of Whisky Creation Dr. Bill Lumsden first experimented with aging Glenmorangie in new charred oak.
The covetable release joins other rare Glenmorangie Grand Vintage bottles, including last year’s Bordeaux barrel-aged edition, and also nods to Lumsden’s first year in the role of whisky creation.
The journey to Grand Vintage Malt 1998 started by lightly toasting and then heavily charring bespoke virgin oak casks, unlocking the deep flavor and aging potential within.
Some of the casks were used for existing Glenmorangie “juice,” but the 23-year single malt derives from a new-make whisky (and Lumsden’s thirst for creativity and innovation).
“I had all sorts of ideas for new and delicious whiskies, and one of first experiments was with new charred oak casks,” Lumsden said. “At the heart of Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt
1998 is a parcel of that experimental whisky.”
Lumsden married the results of that aged new-make whisky with liquid aged in first-fill bourbon casks, and whisky aged in oloroso sherry casks.
The resulting Scotch joins Glenmorangie’s limited-edition Bond House No. 1 Series, so named for Glenmorangie’s Bonded Warehouses from the 19th century (a bonded warehouse refers to a tax-free whisky aging zone).
Warehouse No. 1 was once used for aging whisky before being converted into a still house in 1990 (it now houses 12 Glenmorangie stills).
The process paid serious dividends, said Lumsden.
“It gives the limited edition a wonderful spicy note and an amber glow,” he said. “With aromas of apples and plums and tastes of orange chocolate and clove, this whisky brings a new dimension to Glenmorangie’s elegance.”
For the splurge-worthy price of $900, this exceedingly rare whisky (and a journey back through time) could be the latest addition to an investment-level bar cart.