On the same night of our Shackleton whisky tasting, we sampled, not coincidentally, Glenmorangie Finealta, a new Private Edition from Dr. Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation for the Glenmorangie Group. The reason for pairing Finealta with the famed Mackinlay’s was simply because it is recreation of an old whisky recipe found from 1903 (bottled and sold in London at the time). Quite a unique night for the club, I must say, theme wise. Although the early 20th Century dress code requirement will not be repeated due to the rather difficult procurement process. On to some particulars…
Finealta (Gaelic for “elegance”) is a Highland single malt matured in American white oak casks and Spanish Oloroso casks. The non-chill filtered malt is also lightly peated, unusual for Glenmorangie today but common for whisky made in 1903, as the malt back then was almost exclusively dried in peat fueled kiln fires. Reading the press and various outposts of information around the web concerning the lightly peated nature of Finealta you would get the impression that this is no longer or rarely done today. The modest little island of Islay would protest the notion of kilning with peat as the “old way,” but we will let Finealta have its exclusivity for the time being. Let’s see how it stacks up…
SWC Group Review
Nose- Dry sherry with hints of citrus and dark fruit. Mild spice notes with nutmeg/cinnamon. As it opens up comes the vanilla and caramel, touches of oak. Spice cabinet now.
Taste- Oaky vanilla on the molasses side of things. Raisins. Weighty and thick.
Finish- Short length. Oaky smoke is strong with traces of vanilla. Hints of fruit. Drops off quick with sour tones.
Comment- More of a second tier ranking, if anything, for Finealta. The nose presented promise but overall the flavor level was muted and aromas were frightened to show themselves. Struggled to find identity.
SWC Rating – 78/100
Average Retail – $79
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