A rare quality grain saved by devotees for the future is the inspiration behind Glenmorangie’s latest limited edition. Glenmorangie Tùsail, the sixth release in the award-winning Private Edition collection, draws on the unique taste of Maris Otter barley, almost lost to the world but for the efforts of a few loyal proponents.
Every year since 2010, Glenmorangie has released a rare Single Malt crafted and designed to inspire and intrigue whisky connoisseurs and collectors. The latest release, Glenmorangie Tùsail, invites aficionados to explore a distinctive variety of barley’s influence on Glenmorangie Single Malt.
Maris Otter winter barley was first commercially harvested 50 years ago. Its depth of flavour meant that it soon became a cornerstone of England’s craft-brewing industry. But the demand for the barley variety began to fall as producers switched to varieties with greater efficiencies – and its characteristic taste was left in peril. Realising the danger, two British seed merchants formed a partnership which would re-establish the grain’s purity and save Maris Otter from being wiped out.
Their efforts soon attracted the attention of Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, who is renowned for his commitment to unnecessarily well-made whiskies. Dr Bill Lumsden ordered a batch of the winter barley and arranged for it to be traditionally floor-malted for use in Glenmorangie Tùsail (Scots Gaelic for ‘originary’).
He explained: “When we heard the story of those determined to preserve such a flavoursome grain, their ethos – and the barley itself – seemed the perfect match for a Glenmorangie single malt. I knew its deep flavour profile would provide an intriguing contrast to Glenmorangie’s more delicate house style, creating a whisky to enchant connoisseurs. The result pays homage to the Maris Otter variety, with rich, rustic flavours of nut toffee, sweet barley malt, ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and dates, complementing the more familiar Glenmorangie notes of peaches, oranges and smoked pears.”
Glenmorangie Tùsail, at 46% ABV, will be available from Glenmorangie.com, at independent specialist retailers and department stores at £75.99.