Glenmorangie Pride 1981

Photo by Cordero Studios, www.corderostudios.com

This distillery has long been acknowledged as the pioneer of “finishing” its bourbon barrel– and sherry cask–aged single malts in barrels formerly used for wines. However, with Pride 1981—named for the year the whiskies were distilled and the brand’s oldest extra-matured single malt to date—Glenmorangie has reached a new pinnacle of achievement. It began when Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s master distiller and head of whisky creation, discovered a number of whisky-filled ex–bourbon barrels that were aging exceptionally well. When they reached 18 years, he took 30 percent of the whiskies and put them into six casks that had held Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes. The 18-year-old whiskies in the ex–bourbon barrels and the newly filled Chateau d’Yquem barriques were both aged for an additional 10 years. By the 28th year, they had achieved perfection. They were vatted at a non–chill filtered cask strength of 113.4 percent and bottled in 1,000 Baccarat crystal decanters created by French designer Laurence Brabant (300 of which have been allocated for the United States). With its thick, aromatic bouquet, Pride 1981 fills the mouth with creamy chocolate, toasted oak, and tingling spices, a testament that wine and whisky indeed go well together. ($3,600)

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