Glenmorangie launch A Tale of Tokyo

From Tain to Tokyo, via London’s Shoreditch. It can only mean one thing to fans of Glenmorangie whisky.

The latest in the Highland distillery’s limited edition ‘Tale of…’ single malts series was launched at a brightly-coloured and Japanese-inspired extravaganza in London last week in the presence of the inimitable Dr Bill Lumsden and Master Blender and Head of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie, Gillian Macdonald. The pair collaborated to create this unique whisky, part matured in rare Mizunara oak casks, in homage to Tokyo, a city that has always held a fascination for Dr Bill.

‘I’m lucky to have travelled widely over the years sharing Glenmorangie around the world whilst also gathering new inspiration for whisky creations, and Tokyo has always been one of my favourite places. I’m fascinated by the contradictions between its bustling streets and tranquil gardens, ancient and modern buildings, its many sensory experiences and its culture. My time there over the years made me wonder whether I could capture my experience of Tokyo, and these beautiful intricacies, in whisky form,’ he said.

Inspired by the memories, feelings and flavours of his many visits to Tokyo and a desire to experiment with rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks for the first time, this is an expression characterised by opposites. In the whisky’s flavour profile, pepper meets bitter cherries and coconut, as orange zest fuses with incense and sweet oak. On the finish, are classic Glenmorangie flavours of mandarin, almond and marzipan.

As he travelled through Japan Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden wondered what the influence of complex Japanese Mizunara oak might be on the Highland distillery’s light, floral character. After a tireless quest, he was able to source a small number of Mizunara casks, which are known for bringing a very distinctive and unusual flavour to whisky. He balanced the resulting unique and bold flavours from the Japanese oak with Glenmorangie aged in both bourbon and sherry casks to create a whisky that encapsulates the juxtapositions of Tokyo.

To bring the inspiration and flavours of A Tale of Tokyo to life, Glenmorangie collaborated with Japanese artist Yamaguchi Akira, who has created his own playful perspective of the city’s layers of history and culture in an artwork which adorns each bottle and its packaging. Uniting his trademark maximalist bird’s-eye view style with Glenmorangie’s technicolour palette, it juxtaposes famed landmarks and characteristics from both Tokyo and the Highland Distillery, as well as traditional Japanese pastimes with nods to the whisky’s flavours. From the Tokyo Tower and Ueno Park to Glenmorangie’s giraffe-high stills and lush Mizunara oak trees as well as several Dr Bill figures peppered throughout.

Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo has recently been awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023. It will be available from Selfridges exclusively until 15 October, then from 16 October onwards at whisky specialists, and RRP £76, bottled at 46% ABV.

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