Glenmorangie’s last “tale” whisky was one about… cake. Now the distillery turns its attention to something you can’t actually eat: winter, with another wine cask finished single malt.
A Tale of Winter, designed to “encapsulate the delight of snuggling up in a winter jumper by the fire, while snow lay on the ground,” is a 13 year old whisky that is finished in Marsala wine casks from Sicily. It’s surprising that, given Glenmo’s years of cask experimentation, it hasn’t already dropped a Marsala finished bottling, but it seems to be the case.
Let’s light a fire, put on some wool socks, and give it a try.
First impression: It sure does feel Christmassy, very spicy on the nose, with notes of mulled wine, torched orange peel, and plums with chocolate syrup. The underlying cereal notes feel well-toasted, almost charred, evoking the blackened part of a toasted marshmallow. I’m in the mood to open presents, for sure.
The first touch of the palate has a bit more austerity than the nose would indicate, though its winey sweetness is clearly loaded up with Marsala character, which gets things started on a racy note. Here the spices take a harder edge, with more of an Eastern bent than the baking cabinet, notes of citrus, ginger, and chocolate quickly giving way in full to that oxidized Marsala character. It wholly takes over on the back end: The finish is heavy with the stuff, almost sour and mouth-puckering — and a touch off-putting, marring an otherwise delightfully fun lead-up — proving handily how a little Marsala really can go a long way.