Glenmorangie has created cocktails to mark its sponsorship of the new giraffes at Edinburgh Zoo, writes Peter Ranscombe.
EACH distillery has its very own claim to fame.
Edradour is the smallest – or at least was until micro-distilleries came along.
Glenturret is the oldest – or at least the oldest working distillery.
And Glenmorangie has the tallest stills.
Standing at eight metres in height, with necks measuring five metres, the tall stills mean only the lightest parts of the spirt can rise upwards and then condense back down the swan neck to eventually become whisky.
Those tall stills have led the distillery’s marketing department to conjure up connections with giraffes for many years, but now that link has become stronger after the company began supporting the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).
The distillery is now also sponsoring the five new Nubian giraffes that arrived this year at Edinburgh Zoo.
Arrow, Fennessy, Gilbert, Gerald, and Ronnie were brought together from Belfast Zoo and the West Midlands and Woburn safari parks to form a young male group, recreating how the giraffes would congregate in the wild as adolescents.
They’re now three and four years old and, when they’re fully-grown at seven years old, they’ll reach a height of about 5.5 metres – similar to the length of the necks of Glenmorangie’s stills.
The GCF lists around 3,000 Nubian giraffes living in the wild across Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda, ranking the species as “critically endangered”.
What do Glenmorangie’s giraffe cocktails taste like?
As well as hosting giraffes that will take part in a captive breeding programme – which aims to eventually return animals to the wild – Edinburgh Zoo is also involved in genetic research to make sure the stud book avoids inbreeding.
Glenmorangie is raising more money for conservation work and research by creating cocktails to celebrate its links with the giraffes.
The two cocktails are on sale at the zoo’s “after hours” events, with proceeds going towards its work.
The Golden Giraffe (£8) brings together Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or – a whisky that spends its final months of ageing in a Sauternes sweet wine cask from Bordeaux in France – with grapefruit soda and a wedge of lime.
The sweet honey and vanilla notes from the whisky worked well alongside the kick of lime and the tingle of the soda.
Even more impressive though was the Orange Highball (£8), which combined Glenmorangie’s original whisky with tonic water, soda water, and half an orange.
More of the whisky’s flavours were detectable in the cocktail, with milk chocolate notes alongside the honey and vanilla.
While I doubt the giraffes would thank us for a dram of Scotch, hopefully they’ll enjoy their view of the Pentlands from the top of Corstorphine Hill during their stay in Edinburgh.
Read more of Peter’s whisky, beer, and wine reviews on his blog, The Grape & The Grain