Summer is upon us here in Sydney and needless to say it’s a brutal one. Sure, you could sit there and bake in your own sweat juices or you could cool off like an adult with a refreshing alcoholic beverage. After all, what else chills you from the inside out and takes the edge off at the same time? Nothing. That’s what else.
Now that we’ve established you’re going to hose down that summer fire with a tasty intoxicant, allow us to suggest something other than the well drinks you and your friends order by the dozen every time you hit up happy hour. Consider stepping outside the box with a chilly frozen Glenmorangie Frisky instead.
Using Glenmorangie The Original 10-Year Single Malt Scotch as a base, the Frisky offers crisp, smooth flavour and bone-chilling refreshment. Since Glenmorangie is a quality product, the Frisky will cure your summer ills without setting you up for the inevitable hangover. Plus, you can finally tell your mates you tried a delicious Scotch-based cocktail not called Blood & Sand or Penicillin.
Before we get to the Frisky, at least some of you might be asking: what’s Glenmorangie? It’s a legitimate question since in spite of being Scotland’s best selling and most popular single malt whisky, Glenmorangie The Original hasn’t been exposed to us Aussies as much as it should be. Maybe it has to do with all those crappy well drinks we keep ordering during happy hour. Whatever the case, any alcohol enthusiast owes it to himself to discover Glenmorangie The Original, an expression rife with history, quality and secrecy and one that delivers unforgettable taste all on its own or when mixed in a cocktail.
History and Craft
As is the case with many distilleries in Scotland, Glenmorangie’s story is one where local geography and timeless craft go hand in hand. The brand operates on Morangie Farm in the burgh of Tain (in the Highlands), and uses water exclusively from nearby Tarlogie Springs to make its whisky. Tarlogie Springs was formed as a result of rain being filtered through limestone and sandstone over hundreds of years, and thanks to unique deposits the water itself is rich with natural minerals. When combined with golden Highland barley and premium cask aging, you end up with single malt unlike any other in Scotland.
Glenmorangie’s expressions are in fact so special that their production is guarded by a select group of craftsmen dubbed The Men of Tain. For a long time there were only 16 Men of Tain and that number grew to 24 when production expanded in 2008. The Men of Tain work year round and protect the process and ingredients alike to ensure quality doesn’t waver and that none of the company secrets get out. The Men of Tain are bonded and sustained by tradition and are still known to pass around a dram during lunchtime the way their predecessors did.
While the Men of Tain keep the truly important secrets to themselves, Glenmorangie isn’t afraid to share at least a few of the production methods that make their expressions so distinct and remarkable. For one, they claim to use the tallest stills in Scotland. Apparently those stills are about the same height as an adult giraffe (i.e. very damn tall) and that means only the lightest and purest whisky vapours reach the top, ensuring smoothness. Glenmorangie also uses American white oak casks only twice when maturing their benchmark 10-Year whisky. That helps guarantee each batch extracts the most amount of flavour possible from the cask to achieve balanced, rewarding taste.
After being in the game for 150 years, Glenmorangie has also mastered the art of extra maturation. Their seasoned curators travel the world selecting casks that will add the utmost depth and flavour. The trusty Men of Tain then take the signature 10-Year and extra-mature it in Ruby Port casks for the Quinta Ruban, Sherry butt casks for the Lasanta and Sauternes casks the Nectar D’Or. From the three premium expressions expect alluring colour and layered, amazing taste.
For those of you who just can’t get enough history when it comes to your liquor, we should also mention Glenmorangie’s iconic Signet, aka the symbol adorning the front of each bottle. It goes back to 297 AD, when the Romans came upon the North-East region of Scotland and discovered a proud race of people who painted their bodies with images of the heavens and local terrain alike. For somewhat obvious reasons, the Romans referred to these natives as Picts (or “the painted people”). It was the Picts who first cultivated the barley fields of the Highlands that would one day be used to make Glenmorangie single malt.
To honour such a bountiful and beautiful landscape, the Picts carved their story into the Hilton of Cadboll Stone. It’s the image of this stone inscribed on every bottle of Glenmorangie. A painstaking recreation of the stone resides on the Glenmorangie property, while the (restored) original is kept safe at the National Museum of Scotland.
Glenmorangie The Original 10-Year Single Malt
What’s most impressive about a company like Glenmorangie is that no matter how big its sales get, the operation more or less stays the same. On the other hand, they say “when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Glenmorangie The Original most definitely ain’t broke so why change a thing? The renowned expression is more than just special water, golden barley, ex-bourbon casks, tall stills and well-guarded trade secrets. It’s also the salty sea air and earthy floors of a stone-built distillery so unpretentious in appearance you could mistake it for a monastery.
From each dram of Glenmorangie The Original 10-Year Single Malt you can expect a profile quite unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. On the nose is an unmistakable bouquet of fruitcake, citrus, and vanilla. At first sip comes a warm, nutty burst of vanilla followed by fruit. The finish is exceptionally smooth and almost palate cleansing thanks to notes of cream, orange and peach. Overall you’re looking at a fruity, nutty expression that’s remarkably layered and smooth the whole way through. Peat lovers are advised to broaden their horizons or look elsewhere if it’s smoke they be craving.
Because of its sweet and clean characteristics, Glenmorangie perhaps lends itself to a cocktail more aptly than other single malts. For those looking to beat the summer heat with something refreshing, but a little different, here’s how to make a delicious frozen Glenmorangie Frisky:
– 30ml Glenmorangie Original
– Dash of cinnamon syrup (available to buy or you can make your own using sugar water and cinnamon spice)
– Pear juice or nectar
– Cup of ice (one per drink served)
Take ingredients and blend together in a blender. Pour into a glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme. To serve more than one, simply multiply ingredients by number of drinkers and add to blender. Serve and enjoy!