Whisky Review – Glenmorangie Bacalta @TheGlenmorangie @QuercusComs

Glenmorangie Bacalta

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

£77.95 from Master of Malt

The eighth in Glenmorangie’s private edition range. A limited edition release, bottled at 46% with no chill filtration. The whiskies in this range have pretty much all had no age statement, and been finished in a range of different casks. This time the whisky has been finished in ‘sun baked Malmsey Madeira’ casks. More reading into this and the casks are quite bespoke. Heavily toasted American oak which were then seasoned with the Malmsey wine, baked to maturity in the scorching Madeira sun. Emptied, shipped to Glenmorangie and filled with ex-bourbon matured spirit. No specified timelines, but as always it’s a pleasure to try. 

Nose. 

A very sweet first sniff from the pour. Lots of apples, grapes, definitely has that air of desert wine. I’ve personally not tried a lot of Madeira, but it does remind me of Sauternes. Baked sugar, Creme brûlée. A gentle peppery Spice. Vanilla sponge complete with lots of sugar dusting. After a little time in the glass it becomes fruitier. Apricots and peaches with creamy custard. Not too heavy on the vanilla. Warming the dram up unleashes a little more Spice and fruit intensity. (It’s a bit cold here tonight!). It needed that warmth, the nose is delicious now, deep, creamy, buttercream, moist sponge cake, dried apricot chunks, honeydew melon. There’s a gentle maltiness in the background. Light runny honey. It’s lovely and very sniffable. Gentile. Deliciously desert like. 

Palate. 

Well, I wasn’t expecting that. It’s big flavour from the offset, lots of sweetness, sugar, baked fruits, apple, stewed apricots, poached pears in sweet wine. Another sip and there’s lots of sweet shop reminders, boiled sweets, refresher chews, chocolate mice. Mouthfeel has some additional oiliness to it, but it’s not massively oily, more of a complementary mouthfeel, definitely not watery. More spices on this sip, pepper, a touch of ginger, some sweet cinnamon, sweetened vanilla custard. Another sip and more toffee this time around, some honeycomb, more chocolate. This whisky metamorphoses with every sip, there’s a lot there, and every suggestion on the sip in my mind leads the experience down a different path. There’s a lovely balance and this is a very easy going sipper. 

Finish. 

Spicy sweet cinnamon buns, with vanilla frosting, and a gentle fruit juice fades out for a medium length. A little drier with some oak tannins at the very end. 

Adding water. 

Small drop added. The nose seems a little subdued, more cereal notes, with the fruit and sweetness a little dumbed down. Saying that a lot more vanilla is coming through now. The palate still has a nice depth of flavour, but not as rich, a little more artificial in the sugar notes, and the fruit has been quite diminished. The finish is shorter and drier. Nope. Don’t like water with this one I’m afraid. Needs to be neat. 

Conclusion. 

Very well constructed whisky. It’s very beautiful and very sweet. That might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the balance and quality is there. This is a pretty perfect desert whisky, I would be sipping into the early hours with a very happy smile on my face. I’m getting me some of this!

Many thanks to Glenmorangie for the review sample

Whisky Review – Timorous Beastie 21 year old @DLaingWhisky @remarkablemalts

Timorous Beastie 21 year old

46.8% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£89.95 from Master of Malt – sold out but Drinks by the Dram available






Nose. 

Sherry, spice and dusty chocolate on first pour from this colourful little number. Lots of sherry maturation is obvious. Raisin, plum, clove, cinnamon, all the usual expected Sherry monster aromas, intensely presented for a lower (not cask strength) ABV. With time there becomes a dusty vanilla oak note running throughout the background. Some citrus notes come through, as the spices settle down. There is quite a perfume nature to this nose as well, highly sniffable. 

Palate. 

Cadbury Fruit n Nut. It’s got all of it, loads of chocolate, some nuttiness, primarily hazelnuts, but some almond in there as well, loads of raisin (soaked in rum). Lovely, solid stuff. Christmas spices throughout. An oily mouthfeel coats the spices around every corner of the mouth. Highly quaffable. 

Finish. 

The fruit n nut bar fades slowly, with some stewed tea and a drying mouthfeel. 

Adding water. 

V small drop added. The nose is sweeter now, more chocolatey, less spice. The palate has died somewhat. Chocolate is forefront, and now some barley and porridge, actually reminds me of the coco pops porridge I had last week, much less Spice, oiliness and complexity. Finish is Spice and light chocolate. This one is not to be watered, it’s older and it doesn’t cope so well with dilution. 

Conclusion. 

A lovely Christmassy, Sherry rich blend. The age is there to be experienced, but doesn’t take kindly to water. It’s a lovely winter warmer, I understand entirely why it sold out so damn quickly. 

Many thanks to Douglas Laing for the review sample