A week of reviews of Glenmorangie’s recent Private Edition releases comes to an end with the most recent (?), the 2020 release: A Tale of Cake. No, I’m not making that up: that’s the actual name they gave it. I’d said in the introduction to Wednesday’s review of the Allta that its concept—the use of local wild yeast—might have indicated that Glenmorangie’s vaunted high concept team was running out of ideas. Well, the idea behind this one seems to confirm that. Leave alone the fact that it’s a whisky finished in Tokaji wine casks—a reference that strikes fear into the hearts of old-school whisky geeks—this was apparently created to evoke the memory of the joy of cakes eaten in childhood or made with children. Yes, there’s nothing that quite reminds us all of the sweet memories of childhood like whisky! But is this supposed to taste like cake or am I supposed to drink so much of it that I run around giggling dementedly while soiling myself? Well, I suppose if it doesn’t end up tasting like cake I’ll have no other choice. I hope one of you will back me up on this if she initiates divorce proceedings. Then again, who knows? Maybe I’ll like this as much as I liked the Spios, the most conventionally made of the trio.
Glenmorangie, A Tale of Cake (46%; Tokaji cask finish; from a bottle split)
Nose: Bright acid off the top with tart-sweet pineapple and kiwi. Some malt under that and an expanding grassy note. The fruit, malt and grass meld into a pleasant whole quite quickly. Not much change with time. With water the aniseed and the grainy note from the palate show up here too and expand.
Palate: As promised by the nose but then it gets quite sweet as I swallow. A good bite at 46% and the texture is full too. On the second sip there’s some oaky bite too and there’s some resinous notes plus some aniseed as well. A bit of wine separation as I swallow. Gets a little spicier still as it goes and then sweeter. The grainy, spicy notes expand with water as does the sweetness.
Finish: Medium. The bite expands here. The wine and spirit come back together. With time there’s a grainy sweetness. As on the palate with water.
Comments: As wine cask finishes go this is not bad but it’s not really my speed. It starts out fine with a lot of acid but then gets a bit too sweet. And I’m not a big fan either of the aniseed/grainy complex. Your mileage may vary.
Rating: 82 points.