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Glenmorangie 1993 Ealanta 19 Year Old Virgin Oak Casks

Average score from 6 reviews and 6 ratings 89

Glenmorangie 1993 Ealanta 19 Year Old Virgin Oak Casks

Product details

  • Brand: Glenmorangie
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 19 year old
  • Vintage: 1993

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@MaltActivist
Glenmorangie 1993 Ealanta 19 Year Old Virgin Oak Casks

When I was young and impressionable (not too long ago) I happened across a certain gentleman by the name of Jim Murray. His opinions and reviews left me riveted. I would swear by him and ridicule people when they disagreed with him.

Then I met him and he lost some credibility in my eyes. A bit of a perv and slightly irritating. But that's just his personality. He still knew his whisky. Then I started noticing some scores in his Bible which I couldn't wholeheartedly agree with. But I chalked that up to personal preference. We are, after all, all entitled to our opinion. And then I found out that he named the Glenmorangie Ealanta as his whisky of the year.

Jim, we need to talk.

Matured exclusively in virgin American oak for 19 years the nose is quite bourbony with a touch of spicy exotic. Sickly sweet chocolate vanilla meets squishy tropical fruits and soft orange apricots with a healthy dollop of dark breakfast marmalade rounded off with toasted nuts. The nose is different alright but is far too sweet for my liking.

The same tropical fruit basket of papaya, apricots and papaya arrives on the palate covered in maple syrup and some cardamom pods. It's borderline tasty but fails to truly excite.

The finger snap finish is a truly disappointing cinnamon oak.

Now I don't want to accuse any one of selling out but those Whisky Bible sales and whisky workshops must surely be on the decline.

I am with you on this one. True, I did rate it a few marks higher, but it falls way short of previous PE editions, namely Artein and the the Sonnalta PX. That sickly sweet note that you mention, I also find in their standard 18YO. It had a nice fruit note (peaches to me), but it did not stick around for long.

Off topic, but related to the Glenmorangie PE series, this was substantially more expensive than previous editions. I chalked that up to the 19 years. However, the new NAS Companta seems to fall into the 100-115 price range as well. Hmmmm...

I've never met Jim Murray but I know many writers, bloggers and other professionals in the whisky industry who have and they have all mentioned how perverted, gross and obnoxious he is. Too bad, as I enjoy his writing and look forward to the book being published every year. I agree with you on the Ealanta - very interesting and quite good but not amazing - but I'm not surprised Murray loves it as much as he does, as he leans toward ryes and bourbons, which share some characteristic with the Ealanta. And I don't believe he is "selling out" for a second. He may be a giant dick, but he does have integrity.

@Victor

Glenmorangie Ealanta is the fourth Private Edition Glenmorangie malt, having followed Sonnalta PX, Finealta, and Artein. Release began February 2013. Jim Murray recently named Ealanta the World Whisky of the Year in his 2014 Whisky Bible. Glenmorangie Ealanta was aged 19 years in new toasted, but not charred, oak barrels. The reviewed bottle is freshly opened. I will add comments, etc., as needed if the bottle changes appreciably over time

Nose: Apple, fresh-cut, sitting in a pool of old Cognac. The barley-malt comes across as apple in Ealanta. Minus the orange and pear, this smells and tastes very similar to the Glenmorangie base malt from Glenmorangie Original, from which it is derived. In addition to the apple, you smell many fine 19 years brewing nuanced shades of the toasted new oak. This is all about apple and toasted new oak. The nose is very smooth with a very mellow balance of both flavours and sweet and dry

Taste: the apple and nuanced wood come out strongly on the palate with much increased sweetness. There is vanilla and Brazil nuts present, in the wood. Sawdust. This is very tasty, if you like these particular flavours

Finish: Nice Jim Murray-style balanced finish. Long and sweet

Balance: really, this Glenmorangie Ealanta might just as well be a medium-sweet apple cordial, or a very funky and unusually sweet Calavados. All of the flavours are nice enough, and very mellow, but are they delicious? To me, the barley is actually rather boring here, and most of the interest is in the wood. Toasted new oak gives a lot of nuance. They had to use toasted oak because 19 years of aging in new CHARRED oak would have resulted in a whisky in which you would not be able to taste any barley. But barley is not the best grain to use even with toasted oak, and especially this barley isn't. I can only get so excited by this apple-flavoured barley-malt. Old Potrero 18th Century Style (rye) Whiskey is just so much more interesting using toasted new oak. Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice and pleasant malt whisky. I just don't see this style of flavour profile ever becoming very popular. It is beautifully mellow and balanced. It is just not that DELICIOUS

Bravo, Victor for opening this now famous bottle and sharing your thoughts.Much appreciated. And your score makes me feel better about my recent acquisition. Vanilla and Brazil nuts sounds nice.

My grandmother, back in the day, got very upset with me for correcting her about Brazil nuts. She used a colloquial expression for the nut, which I can't imagine hearing on this site. I felt bad. She nearly cried and said, "But that's the name of the nut, how can it be wrong to say it!" She was a very sweet lady without a mean bone in her body. It was a lesson to me about American culture.

This bottle has morphed a lot. Four weeks of having the bottle open and ungassed I am impressed that the flavours of my bottle of Glenmorangie Ealanta are getting more pointed and prickly. I like it. The creaminess, sweetness, and apple-emphasis are less and there is more spiciness and a bit more wood-bitterness. The mouthfeel is still outstanding. If anything I like this Ealanta better now with a little air exposure. I would keep the score about the same.

Ealanta is a very interesting whisky which features some very thought-provoking dimension.

@vanPelt

First vapor: Potpourri; containing some pine and heavy on the dried rose petals. [This floral impression never returns, except maybe very late in the finish.]

Nose: A wheaty and sweet waffle cone. For a few minutes the cone is filled with salty almond-nougat, but this transforms into orange-pineapple in a white chocolate base. At first, pine pricks the nose substantially. A bit of breathing creates a surprisingly thick nose, like smelling an eclair pastry with a light glaze of pineapple-orange.

Palate: Creamy entrance quickly becomes hot with ginger, over dried pineapple; remains creamy throughout the first phase. When the heat and pineapple eventually subside, a wave of vanilla rises..., and then honey & nougat follow up into the finish.

Finish: Back to vanilla, with the ginger heat tickling in and out. An impression of creamy cinnamon apricot on exhale, and still a bit pepper in the cheeks.

The Ealanta manages to convey richness (with a satisfyingly creamy mouthfeel) and strength (with gingery spice), while still providing a light & refreshing flavor set. The overall impression is of dried pineapple-nut-ginger-vanilla, accented with floral notes. No overt bitterness to speak of, just a slight white pepperiness somewhere in the finish. These combined impressions make this a top contender for favorite "light" malt: the Ealanta is elegant yet substantial.

...For this reason, finding comparisons is difficult. Within Glenmorangies, my reaction was similar to the Artein, in finding it light yet full (and on par in quality); but the Artein is more raspberry rather than nuts and dried pineapple. The Ealanta's creamy texture bears more similarity to the Sonnalta or especially the Signet; but again, the flavors are different. Otherwise, my closest comparison is Glenfiddich's 21 (Caribbean Rum Finish), which approaches the same texture and has similar flavors (orange, nut, vanilla, ginger), but is less spicy and is a tad lighter. Between these 2, my preference actually falls to the Ealanta, for being bolder. (And as of today's date, the price favors it as well.)

@Victor , you always manage to expand my thinking and knowledge. In other words, had to hunt down the answer online: whisky-discovery.blogspot.dk/2013/02/… "A mistake on the bottle’s label which states that it is heavily charred as opposed to heavily toasted, and the unique and special conditions surrounding the maturation, are key to understanding how such a delicate and nuanced spirit can survive and indeed thrive in these casks.... So the heavy toast used in the Ealanta casks opens up just enough of the wood layers for the whisky to gently soak in, and removes unwanted flavors that would come from an untreated surface."

So the answer: heavily toasted (which has apparently also been quoted by Bill Lumsden).

@vanPelt, thanks for a very nice review. I understand that Glenmorangie Ealanta was aged in new oak. Do you know whether the wood was 1)untreated, 2) toasted, but not charred, or 3)charred? The description sounds to me like there was the use of toasted wood, but not charring. If I had to guess, I would guess lightly toasted wood.

@Bradis

Glenmorangie is the brand that first pulled me away from peaty lands of Islay after I tasted both the Qunita Ruban and Nector D'or at one of the few whisky bars in Perth called Helvetica's and enjoyed them both immensely. So when I spied the Ealanta on a scouting trip to a little boutique bottle shop called Devine Cellars, my minds amazing ability to justify the purchase kicked in and led to me leaving the store with grin in place and bottle in hand. I will admit that the spiel about Mark Twain may have played a part as well...

3 months later the bottle is finished and below are the tasting notes from a session with a good friend of mine.

Colour: light gold silk

Nose: Instant memories of childhood Vanilla milk chews! Initially this reminded me of a very smooth bourbon however following the initial nosing more of the background flavours started rolling in. Hints of orange and maple custard with a sting of freshly shaved wood. After a few minutes i started getting a residual scent of dark butterscotch. (22)

Palate: Hmmm initial flavour is a hit of creamy oak, this then transforms on the tongue to a strong vanilla followed by a wave of spice; cloves, pepper and cinnamon. (22)

Finish: The finish is the nose bought to life, a beautiful flood of candied vanilla and milk chews dominates with a slight burnt caramel twist. If I lick around my mouth the spices are there buzzing on the back of cheeks (23)

Balance: Everything just works together so well. The nose transforms on the palate into something with a bit more kick and then returns to its original form on the finish. Very easy drinking, soooo easy. (22)

Final Score of 89

An amazingly tasty whisky, the Ealanta is not the most complex in regards to the flavours that can be discovered, but it is very moorish. So far this bottle has bought two new drinkers into the whisky fold and i am yet to share this with someone who has not enjoyed it. The only issue i have is that of every bottle i have ever owned this one lived the shortest life...and that makes me sad.

This review, which made international news, is strange (Huffington Post and other newspapers). It is the first review written by Bradis and was skyrocketed to fame around the world.

I'm wondering what sort of contacts Bradis (aka "Drew") has. He wrote five more reviews after this one and dropped off the map two months later.

I almost don't buy it (as mere chance and a first well written whisky review). Serendipity like that is practically unheard of.

@markjedi1

The new kid on the block in the so-called Private Collection by Glenmorangie is this Ealanta. I tried the Sonnalta PX, Artein and Finealta before, they were all to my liking. This Ealanta matured on virgin oak for 19 years. Virgin oak means the cask was never used before. It it non-chillfiltered. Ealanta is Gaelic for ‘skilled and ingenious’. Ah, those marketing kids, eh? I got me a sample at a recent festival.

The nose is slightly prickly and fruity. Creamy, too. Candied and sugared orange peel leads a whole range of underlying fruits. Pineapple, apricots and even a hint of mango. Quite a bit of mint. Slightly tropical, let us say. Discrete vanilla (becoming louder all the time), butterscotch and bresilliene. Vanilla ice cream with pineapple sauce, that is it! Finally some oak in the shape of wood shavings.

The attack is creamy and very spicy. The virgin oak offers some peppers, cinnamon and a mild touch of mint. Vanilla and pineapple return in full force, upholstered with honey, zesty orange peel and mandarin. The bresilliene becomes almonds. Very attractive indeed.

The long finish lingers on vanilla, white pepper and rough wood.

Seems Bill Lumsden can create beauties without Rachel Barrie (joke). He has not lost his magic touch. Just under 100 EUR.

@markjedi1, Thanks for your reviews... But you sell yourself short! Beyond those other Glenmorangies, you had in fact also reviewed the Astar. Actually, you're the only reviewer of both the Astar and Ealanta, which puts you in the unique position to best compare them for us (or me!) on Connosr, if you would....

By your reviews, both sound similar: cream, citrus, & vanilla; later pepper & wood. Even the same score. The difference sounds like the Ealanta is nuttier and has more orange/pineapple in place of lemon/mirabelle/coconut.

Is that a fair analysis? Because then I would choose a bottle of the Ealanta (which I have sampled and enjoyed), since I find tropical and nutty notes more interesting. OR is there something we would direly miss, not choosing the Astar? (Most people here seem to really love that Astar....)

Can be found for much less than 100 Euros. • 69 Euros (labaule-lacave.fr/highland-19/…)and • 81 Euros (www.whisky.fr/glenmorangie-ealanta.html). Both sites will ship to most places in Europe.

@Onibubba

This is a just opened review. Been sipping on it this evening and wanted to post a few thoughts. First, price. This was 130.00 in TN. That puts it 50.00 over previous Private Editions, and about 20.00 less than Signet (which can be had online for 150.00). I found 2 of the earlier Private Editions, Sonnalta PX, and Artein, to be exemplary whiskies. I have bunkered several of each. My last Glenmornangie experience was with their 18YO. Not so good in my book. I approached this with some trepidation, but as only a case arrived in Nashville, I figured I had better grab one now.

First Impressions: Smell is white chocolate and nougat. Could this be the opposite of the Signet maybe? Coffee presents itself in this nose as well, more of a mocha. And sadly, I get a bit of the 18 lingering around in the background.

First tastes are stewed fruits. Peach pie with no sugar. There is a bit of a sourness here. Happily, it does not linger. The white chocolate returns transforming into vanilla.

Nice burn, nice finish. Long, hot, pleasant. Peach cobbler.

This is good. However, I would put it behind the Sonnalta PX, Artein, or Signet. And unless I find it at a much cheaper price, not a repeat purchase.

Revisiting Ealanta. I have not been as adherent on Wine Preserver with this bottle. Generally speaking, I have found oxidization to be more of an issue with bourbons and peat monsters than sweeter scotches. Barely two inches remain in the bottle ( I decanted a couple of 4oz tasters early on - cannot recommend this process highly enough. Harsh bitter wood and waves of alcohol assault the nose. Creme Bruelee is buried by the alcohol assault. The peaches are long gone. The alcohol positively stings with astringency. Artificial sweetness. Karo syrup, not honey. Not digging this as all. I am afraid that the last drams of this way too pricey whiskey are destined to the fate of sauteing my mushrooms with a splash of truffle oil. I can think of worse fates, but a sad end for a 130.00 dollar bottle.

$98.05 in Montgomery County liquor stores in MD, plus tax; $119.99 in the NH state liquor stores and no sales tax.

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