Thursday 26 January 2023

Glenmorangie "A Tale of the Forest" [Tasted #615]

Glenmorangie, much like their LVMH counterpart Ardbeg, have become known for releasing annual special editions that actually have a point of difference to them, rather than just a different label and slightly different mixture of ex-sherry and ex-Bourbon whiskies. For years it was the Private Edition series (EalantaSpiosBacaltaMilseanCompanta etc..) and more recently the "Tale of" series - first "A Tale of Cake", then "A Tale of Winter" and now "A Tale of the Forest".

A Tale of the Forest uses barley kilned with "woodland botanicals" - more specifically juniper berries, birch bark, heather flowers and just a hint of peat. I'm sure I'm not the only one who read this and thought "a gin-esque whisky!?"

My biggest question when it comes to interesting, unusually-made whiskies like this is - does the uniqueness actually shine through in the final product? Can you actually taste those woodland botanicals in the whisky? Let's find out...


Glenmorangie "A Tale of the Forest" (46% ABV, NAS, Highlands, $980HKD / $169.99AUD / £62.46ex-VAT)
Colour: Honey gold

Nose: There really is an initial whack of pine needles and a touch of eucalyptus here. It's certainly an unusual nose for a Scotch. Freshly-cut grass, heather and herbal tea. If you'd told me it was a cask-rested gin, based on the nose, I'd believe you. 

Palate: A bit of the spice from the nose carries through, along with the pine notes. The eucalyptus too, but it's more prominent than on the nose. There's still Glenmo DNA though - soft yet flavoursome with noticeable citrus, vanilla cream & honey. Doesn't feel overly young either - there's not a lot of complexity here, but it's also not rough or under-aged.

Finish: Long, with residual resin, pine and grassy notes.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100 (Martin). This isn't a hugely complex whisky, but it 100% matches the name and purported character, and it's tasty too. Some distilleries use special release NAS whiskies to hide young whisky that (in my view) isn't quite ready. That's not the case here at all - this feels spot-on in terms of age and "meets the brief" in terms of character.

Thanks to MHDHK for the review bottle.


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