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Glenmorangie releases 23-Year-Old Grand Vintage 1997

What you need to know:

  • Glenmorangie's Bond House No. 1 - Grand Vintage series is a collection of high quality 20-plus year old vintage malts. 
  • The distillery has more recently released a 23-year-old ex-bourbon Grand Vintage expression for 2021.
  • This has a floral and light fruitiness balanced by aromatic oak, with silky texture and medium weight.

 

(Image source: Glenmorangie Distillery)

 

Initial thoughts

How long ago was 1997? Let’s put things in perspective by listing a few 1997 events that you may remember from your childhood: (1) beloved Princess Dianna tragically dies in an automotive accident, (2) Leonardo DiCaprio yells “I’m king of the world” from the Titanic on the silver screen, and (3) TV Tokyo Corporation broadcasts the first ever episode of the Pokémon anime.

 

It’s still hard not to be outraged by Rose's selfishness because there was clearly plenty of room for Jack to share that piece of wood (Image source: Titanic (Paramount Pictures, 1997))

 

Glenmorangie has recently announced that they would be releasing the Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1997 expression. Distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2020 (let me do the math for you-> 2020 – 1997 = 23 years of maturation), this bottle is part of the distillery’s “Bond House No. 1” vintage range of old(er) whiskies.

 

A closer look at the label (Image Source: Glenmorangie Distillery)

 

Bond House No. 1 refers to an old building at the distillery’s site. The building was used in the 1800s as a warehouse for Glenmorangie’s most prized whiskies, then subsequently used to house Glenmorangie’s famous giraffe-tall stills for several decades before the stills were shifted to a new building for distillation many decades ago. This range of vintage whiskies were distilled in Bond House No. 1 in the earlier days, before the stills were shifted to a new building.

 

(Image Source: Glenmorangie Distillery)

 

The Bond House No. 1 collection of over 20-year-old Glenmorangies are not only prized collectibles but are critically acclaimed bottles to boot. Since 2016, the Bond House releases have year-after-year won gold awards at international whisky competitions.

The distillery unfortunately did not specify what wood has been used. Different Bond House No. 1 expressions have been matured differently- some exclusively in ex-bourbon, some in a mix of ex-bourbon and oloroso casks. However, for the 1997, we are making an educated guess that this is mainly an ex-bourbon cask matured whisky. From the tasting notes below, we see a good deal of light fruity flavours and vanilla/caramel spice that are characteristic of bourbon barrels.

 

Tasting notes

We have received word that the tasting notes would be as follows: 

Colour:      

  • Deep Gold

Nose:                  

  • A complex, floral, fruity profile with honey, orange blossom, candied fruits and beeswax

Palate:               

  • Silky and oily with a medium-weight profile. Crisp, malty caramel notes with a touch of bread toast, balanced with aromatic oak

Finish:                

  • Medium length with butter on bread toast and fading spice. 

As with other Bond House No. 1 bottles, critics claim that this bottle is just as complex, well-balanced and delicious.

 

Pricing and availability

This expression would be released soon with a S$1,100 price tag.

The one-grand price tag quite frankly seems a little steep for a 23 year-old whisky. That said, the Bond House No. 1 collection has been very highly rated by critics. Buyers would no doubt be paying for both vintage and good taste.

We are very interested to hear your thoughts on this expression if you are wealthy enough to get your hands on and open one. Your tasting notes would be greatly appreciated by the panda community.

@charsiucharlie