Glenmorangie has for a decade shared its passion for innovation with whisky aficionados through its famous line of rare and intriguing limited-edition single malts, the Private Edition series. With Glenmorangie Allta, the Highlands distillery reveals the first whisky created using wild yeast from its signature Cadboll barley.
Over the years the impact on taste of yeast, a key ingredient in Scotch whisky, has been all but forgotten. One person who remained keenly aware of yeast’s potential, however, is Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks. Years ago he recalled a story recounted by a renowned whisky specialist about a unique “house” yeast Glenmorangie was said to have possessed.
Dr Bill Lumsden subsequently unveiled a secret he had discovered, a previously unidentified species of wild yeast – Saccharomyces diaemath – growing on barley near the Distillery. He then brought the yeast and the barley together to create a creamy, fragrant whisky: Glenmorangie Allta.
“Allta”, which means “wild” in Scots Gaelic, was aged in ex-bourbon barrels, including many second-fill casks, to showcase the fruity character given by the yeast and its importance to the whisky’s myriad flavors.
“Glenmorangie Allta is a worthy whisky with which to mark the Private Edition’s tenth anniversary. Yeast’s influence on taste has been overlooked for years, but it’s an area ripe for exploration. With a nose of biscuit, baking bread and floral notes, and rich tastes of vanilla, orange syrup and sweet chili, Glenmorangie Allta opens up compelling possibilities for the future of Scotch whisky,” says Dr. Bill Lumsden.
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