Glenmorangie’s Wine-Barrel-Finished Companta Scotch Whisky

  • Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
    Glenmorangie Companta Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
  • Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
    Glenmorangie Companta Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
  • Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio
  • Photo copyright by Laurence Winram studio

As the head of distilling and whisky creation for Glenmorangie, Bill Lumsden has been responsible for some extraordinary single malts finished in barrels that previously held something other than whisky. He is also a fan of wines from Burgundy. On a recent trip to the Côtes du Rhône in France, the Clos de Tart Grand Cru vineyard caught his attention. While marveling at the rich wines this small vineyard produced, Lumsden noted that they had been aged in tightly grained, 3-year-old air-cured French oak barrels.

Back in Scotland, Lumsden began to experiment with aging older whiskies in some of the Clos de Tart barriques, as they are called in France. But something was missing. So he returned to France, where he procured barrels that had previously held Rasteau, a little-known but highly acclaimed sweet wine made using Grenache grapes. This would give the Clos de Tart barrel-aged whisky the body it needed, Lumsden surmised—and indeed it did.

The result is the extremely limited Glenmorangie Companta ($99). The word companta is Gaelic for “friendship,” as this whisky symbolizes Lumsden’s long association with many of the most acclaimed winemakers in France. Bottled as the fifth release in Glenmorangie’s annual Private Edition series, Companta is composed of 60 percent 9-year-old whisky finished for an additional five years in Clos de Tart casks, and 40 percent 10-year-old whisky finished in Rasteau casks for eight years. The result is a 92-proof, non-chill-filtered medium-rich single malt that is rose gold in color. The spirit bursts with flavors of dried prunes, apples, and lightly smoked cedar, and has a long, silky finish—similar to those of many Burgundy wines. (www.glenmorangie.com)

From Around the Web...
From rum to craft beer, these luxury destinations are the only place you can sip
Only 2,333 bottles will be released of the new expression combining three vintages of 100-percent...
With similar soil to Cuba, Honduras produces some of the world’s finest cigars…
Sommelier Erik Johnson has been on an enviable spree. Restocking the wine cellar of the French...
The four-sided box-pressed Nicaraguan puro concentrates the flavor in every puff…
These lesser-known bottles from Italy’s most innovative winemaker will surprise you…
Generations of Cognac expertise went into this extravagant tribute to Hennessy’s history…
If you love fine Cognac and rare cigars, join us for a connoisseur’s tour…
Americans have joined the hunt for Japan’s rarest whiskies—and are helping push prices sky-high…
We raise a toast to Frank Sinatra’s best drinking buddy…