Glenmorangie Week continues with the 2019 release in the Private Edition series: Allta. You may recall that the Spios (reviewed on Monday) comprises spirit matured in rye casks. What is the twist in the Allta’s tale? Apparently, it is made using Glenmorangie’s own yeast. No, not harvested from the august personage of Bill Lumsden—I’m told he is very fastidious about hygiene—but wild yeast from somewhere around the distillery. This is either a very interesting thing or they’re running out of ideas. Anyway, let’s get to it.
Glenmorangie Allta (51.2%; from a bottle split)
Nose: The Spios featured big rye notes off the top and the Allta feature big yeasty notes; or at least big sour notes—it’s not particularly bready as the nose on many malts that feature yeasty notes often is. Instead here it melds nicely with lemon and a bit of grass; sort of like the base Glenmorangie spirit with some extra tangy sharpness: it works well enough. Not much change really with water—maybe a bit more acid?
Palate: Comes in sweeter and there’s a big alcohol and then oaky bite as I swallow. Sweeter still as it heads to the finish. Not much sign of the yeast here. Grassier and no more interesting with time. Okay, let’s add some water. More acid and less grass with water and the malt emerges too but it’s still not terribly interesting.
Finish: Medium-long. The sweet notes yield to citrus (lemon peel) and the oak—toasted now—emerges again at the end. As on the palate with water.
Notes: I liked the nose; the palate was solid but fairly anonymous. An interesting experiment—I guess—but one that seems to have yielded an entirely unremarkable result. Not a bad whisky by any means but certainly not worth the asking price in my book.
Rating: 83 points.