February 12, 2011

Glenmorangie Finealta

• As anyone who knows Dr. Bill Lumsden can attest, Glenmorangie's head of whisky creation never rests. That's because he's always busy ... well ... creating whiskies. Think Signet, Astar, LaSanta. Here is the latest from the Scottish distiller, just now becoming available in the U.S. market.

This new blend has a very old pedigree. It was re-created from a recipe dating to 1903 that was  in the company archives. Back in the day, Glenmorangie dried its barley in a peat-fired kiln which provided a touch of peatiness absent from most of the company's modern expressions.

Finealta -- Scots Gaelic for "elegant" -- has been matured in a combination of used American white oak and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. It is the second release in the company's Private Edition range of limited-edition whiskies chosen from what the company refers to as its "cabinet of curiosities." (The first was Sonnalta, which means "generous.")

Finealta is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (92 proof).

There is a richness to Finealta that quickly spreads across the palate with notes of pineapple,  butterscotch and caramel. The peatiness doesn't linger as much as one might expect since it stays prominent on the nose throughout a tasting, but it does add to the husky boldness of the concoction.

Suggested retail price: $85 for the 750ml bottle.

Go to Dowd's Spirits Notebook.

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