Glenmorangie Ealanta, 46%, 19 year old Virgin Oak, Private Release

Every time Glenmorangie release a new Private Release the internet buzzes with reviews of it, and generally the bottling sells out really quickly. So far the only ones that didn’t sell out fast were the Sonnalta and the Finealta. And to be honest, they were quite awful and uninteresting respectively.

Then some things happened with Artein, which was an interesting dram but bored quickly. Next up was Ealanta. A 19 year old virgin oak release from two years ago. I was very skeptical at first since 19 years in new oak sounds like you’re about to drink liquid oak.

Fortunately, this is not the case. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy a bottle.

Glenmorangie Ealanta. Image from Whiskybase

Glenmorangie Ealanta. Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
On the nose this is a rather crisp whisky with hint of vanilla, creme brulee and lemon. It’s smooth with quite some oak without it overpowering the whisky. Wax, pine resin, honey and mint notes are next, and after a while I’m even getting some cigar tobacco.

Sip:
On the palate the whisky is consistent with the nose but slightly drier. The oak is more pronounced (still not overpowering, though). Honey, dried apple and cracker black pepper. Some Scottish tablet too, and butterscotch.

Swallow:
The finish is, if possible, better than the palate. It’s smooth and rich with lots of flavor. Long with butterscotch, honey, oak and creme brulee again.

This really, really is a gorgeous whisky. I love every sip of it and haven’t found anything to put me off or make me slightly less raving. I generally love a good bourbon cask and white oak is the main flavor of that. So, white oak, minus the bourbon still works fine for me.

I was a bit scared that this whisky would be a bit one dimensional and plain. I was wrong. I love this stuff and I really wish I had gotten myself a bottle or two when it was still available and affordable.

Glenmorangie Ealanta, 46%, 19 year old Virgin Oak, Private Release. Now some € 220

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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2 Responses to Glenmorangie Ealanta, 46%, 19 year old Virgin Oak, Private Release

  1. I loved the texture of Ealanta particularly… although the thing that always gets me about these Private Releases is the general wash of disinterest it gets from the bloggerati upon release, but yet as time goes by enthusiasm picks up and a couple of years down the line you hear the same people talking as if it was always a treasured heirloom.

    I find Sonnalta amusing, because I loved it as an example of a sweet & fruity whisky to demonstrate that flavour profile when I was working in the bar, and I picked up a 1L bottle of it for £50. And yet now going by auction results you’d think it was something altogether different: http://www.scotchwhiskyauctions.com/auctions/73_the-42nd-auction-ends-on-sunday-october-5-2014/45080_glenmorangie-sonnalta-px/

    • I am generally not overly interested in these releases either. At least, I’m not going to great lengths to procure a bottle. In this case, however, I wish I had. All of the earlier ones (Sonnalta, Artein, Finealta) I don’t care about.

      I haven’t tried the Companta, but I’m not interested in it since it is yet another wine finish. Sometimes I like those, but in all cases I’ve tired of them very quickly.

      The Tusail is one which I did find interesting, mostly because of the Maris Otter stuff. It feels like that is a step towards purer whisky. Not that Maris Otter would tromp other barleys, but because it is an exercise in getting to the DNA of the whisky itself, and not fancying a random distillate up with weird casks.

      Now, if Glenmo would start doing a series on different yeast strains I’d be a really happy camper…

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