“Whoever said laughter is the best medicine had clearly never tasted Scotch.” ~ Anne Taintor
If you happen to be looking for some great “medicine,” look no further than El Gaucho Bellevue. The only bottle of Glenmorangie Pride 1978 in the state just arrived and is beautifully resting on the glass shelf in the bar, waiting to be sampled. This 34-year old single malt is the oldest and longest extra matured Glenmorangie: it’s aged for 19 years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels before maturing an additional 15 years in casks, formerly containing the legendary Bordeaux Premiere Cru Classe wine. A rare and exclusive release, the 100 Baccarat crystal decanter is accompanied by a limited edition print by internationally renowned artist Idris Khan. Khan’s technique of using densely layered images to give the illusion of one original painting echoes Glenmorangie’s well-made approach to creating Pride. A 1.5 oz shot of Pride is offered for $525 at El Gaucho Bellevue. Of course, the lucky purchaser of the last shot receives the crystal decanter as well as the limited edition print.
With the arrival of Pride, our team received training and tasting from Jon Trainer, The West Region Brand Manager for Glenmorangie. For 52 years straight, the original Glenmorangie has been voted Scotland’s favorite malt scotch. There are currently 110 single malt distilleries in Scotland, so a track record that long makes quite a statement.
Before we began our tasting we revisited the basics. Scotch can only be called scotch if it’s: made on Scottish soil; aged at least three years; is 40% alcohol by volume. A single malt scotch must be made from 100% malted barley, which is the entire Glenmorangie portfolio. In contrast, blended whiskies are allowed to use other grains.
Glenmorangie is stylistically different from other whiskies for a couple of reasons. First of all, their water is sourced from the Tarlogie Spring, which is rich in magnesium and calcium, resulting in its unique taste. Additionally, Glenmorangie’s 100% copper stills are the tallest in Scotland, removing the sulfur and promoting a more pure flavor. Lastly, a great deal of effort and care is taken in creating and sourcing the casks, which are only used two times, whereas most other distilleries’ are used an average of 5-6 times.
The team had the opportunity to taste 6 different scotches: original; 18 year; Lasanta; Quinta Ruban; Nectar D’or; Tusail. The latter four are all extra-matured range scotches, while the Tusail is the 2015 private edition release. Most of the differences come from the way the whisky is finished, which is in the type of cask. For instance, the Lasanta is aged in sherry-finished barrels. The Quinta Ruban is finished in Ruby Port barrels, and the Nectar D’Or is finished in sauternes casks. The Tusail difference is the use of winter varietal barley vs spring barley, and is finished in bourbon casks. Glenmorangie has been the pioneer in finished whiskies and they continue to experiment with flavor profiles. It’s amazing to experience how finishing in different casks changes the whisky.
Our family of restaurants constantly works to bring our guests the best that the world has to offer. An important component to accomplish this is through the continuing education, training and professional development of our employees. We offer opportunities for all of our employees to further their knowledge so that they can continue to be a terrific resource for our guests.