Sunday 20 December 2020

Glenmorangie's "A Tale of Cake" [Tasted #508]

For several years, Glenmorangie released an annual "Private Edition" - a fun, interesting release which didn't break the bank and you could (most likely) get your hands on. We talked about why this was a good thing for whisky last year when "Allta" was released, and prior to that we covered most of the Private Editions over the years - including 2013's Ealanta, 2014's Companta, 2015's Tùsail, 2016's Milsean, 2017's Bacalta and 2018's Spios.

Whilst the "Private Edition" series ended last year with Allta, you could argue its spirit lives on in "A Tale of Cake" - 2020's Limited Release Glenmorangie. As with several of the Private Editions, "A Tale of Cake" is the work of mastermind Dr Bill Lumsden (Glenmorangie's Director of Whisky Creation), and involved standard bourbon-matured 10yo Glenmorangie Original being finished in a new / interesting / unique type of cask - in this case, Hungarian Tokaji casks, formerly holding the sweet dessert wine hailing from the Tokaj region of Hungary. For Aussie readers unfamiliar with Tokaji wines, they're made using grapes infected with Noble rot fungus (Botrytis cinerea), not dissimilar to the Hunter Valley's Botrytis Semillon dessert wines.

As you might imagine, these are pretty sweet wines, and so you can expect the casks would impart a similar profile to the whisky (although Glenmorangie don't specify for how long the whisky was finished this time).

Let's dive in an see then shall we?

Glenmorangie "A Tale of Cake" (46% ABV, OB, NAS, Highlands, Scotland, $1050HKD$169.99AUD)
Colour: Yellow gold.

Nose: Sweet* - sherbet, gummy bears, lots of orchard fruits, maple syrup, vanilla and tinned peaches.

Palate: Initially sweet with a slight minerality, and strawberry shortbread, peach tart and a hint of nuttiness. After time a bit of oak shines through.

Finish: Long and nutty, with some residual oak at the end.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 91/100. I was worried this would be too sweet for my palate, but I needn't have. It's sweet, sure, but there's plenty of other notes going on, and plenty to enjoy. I'd say on the whole, a bit less sweet than 2016's Milsean.
*Yes I know, technically you can't "smell sweet"...

So, another winner from Glenmorangie. Great on its own, but also worth trying in this cocktail ("Caketail") developed in partnership with bartender Jeremy Le Blanche:

The Cake Old Fashioned
  • 50 ml Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake
  • 7.5 ml coconut water
  • 7.5 ml pineapple syrup [no details on how to make this, but Google has some suggestions]
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 pinch black pepper
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass over block/  cubed ice.
Garnish with a twist of orange zest and a walnut.

Thanks to MHDHK who, in the interests of full disclosure, provided this bottle for review.


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