Yes, yes, I know… the bottle looks like something off of Sephora’s website. And yes, I’m sure LVMH could have saved a £50-60 (maybe more) putting the whisky into a slightly simpler vessel.
I’m not posting here to talk about the whys & whatfors of corporate marketing. Yes, I do work in sales & marketing and I understand the whys & whatfors but I’d prefer to focus on the liquid that Dr. Bill Lumsden created, not what the good folks at LVMH have cracked up to sell the stuff – as smart and fancy as it is.
Glenmorangie Pride 1981 is a 28yo whisky that was aged for 18 years in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and then extra-matured exclusively in Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes casks for an additional 10 years before being bottled at 56.7% ABV. Sounds sexy to me!
Color - Deep gold with tints of green (I don’t always mention color but this is some attractive fluid!)
Damp and earthy. Man, I am taken by this nose. This juice demands your attention. Part of me doesn’t even want to dissect it, I just want to enjoy it as a whole.
But carry on, I will…
Walnut oil and even a bit of sauternes-drown golden raisin.
Coming back to the nose after a sip and there’s a very noticeable high lemon note just floating on top of it all.
On the mouth – Thick and insanely mouth coating – it’s invading every part of my mouth (like that scene in The Matrix where the liquid metal is taking over Keanu Reeves’ body until it goes down his throat).
Speaking of honey, this stuff oozes with it.
As the fluid starts to go from juicy sweet to drying on to the finish, booze soaked oak notes round out the flavor experience.
Finish – Long, drying, warm; and sitting like a king on the top/back portion of my tongue is the actual sauternes itself – apricots, peach, nuts and woody tannins. After a short bit, an interesting watermelon note popped up followed but some of that lemon note I got on the nose.
In sum – I can see why Dr. Bill Lumsden refers to this whisky as his “Pride”. If this whisky were a college bound student, she would have full scholarships to the Ivy League school of her choosing. This is so balanced, so well constructed and thoroughly enjoyable. Pride is as full and robust as it gets (without peat or sherry).
I come back to this over and over again, Sauternes finishes are my absolute favorite. Done right (like this whisky here), and it’s light years ahead of nearly any sherried whisky I’ve had.
There are only 1000 bottles of this stuff on G-d’s green earth and if you can find & afford one, I won’t say no; I’d accept the gift very graciously . However, if you decided to keep the stuff for yourself, I would not blame you at all.
I will suggested, however, that you open this for the most celebratory of occasions but what’s more is that you NEED to open this. Don’t just buy and collect because NOT tasting this stuff (if you have the $$ to afford it) is doing yourself an injustice.
Huge thanks goes out to David Blackmore for the sample!