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  • Writer's pictureSean Kincaid


Photo Credit - @jeremypue


A Tale of the Forest

Prepping the trek

2022 Limited edition from Glenmorangie

Follows in the footsteps of A Tale of Winter and A Tale of Cake

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

46% abv

Crafted from Barley kilned with woodland botanicals that included Juniper berries, birch bark and heather flowers.

Aged in first fill and mainly refill ex-bourbon casks

Lacing the Boots

When the Glenmorangie “Tale of” series was first launched with the A Tale of Cake, I was highly skeptical of what exactly this was going to be. After tasting the Tale of Cake, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The notes were bang on and it truly did taste of fruity cakes I remember having as a child that my Grandmother would make. While the flavours were spot on, the Tale of Cake just wasn’t something I would ever find myself grabbing for or drinking much of. Next up in the series was Tale of Winter… I was not impressed when I first heard about it, tried it, or discussed it. A decent enough whisky sure, but one that should have been released as an addition to the core range or as a one of limited edition. The use of Marsala casks is just not rare or special anymore in whisky finishing. And yes it does end up with a Christmas type set of notes. For me it was as safe as safe can be and the least imaginative of the three releases in this series so far.

Now comes the latest release, A Tale of THE Forest. The addition of the word THE in the title bugs me as it isn't consistent. For some reason, even though the bottles are all the same size, the box this one comes in is slightly shorter than the other two. Neither of these affect the whisky inside but as a consumer it bugged me. When this release was first announced along with the way it has been created, I will stand here and fully decree I WANTED TO HATE THIS WHISKY. It sounded like it was going to be a mashup of whisky and Gin. If the Winter was a safe and unimaginative creation, this seemed to jump off the deep end of creativity. Here we go…

Smelling the fresh forest air (Nose)

Okay, what is going on here. Is it the power of suggestion rearing its head, or does this actually kind of smell like walking through a damp forest on a misty morning in late summer or early fall. My wife and I frequently hike a lot in forested areas and when the seasons first feel like a change is in the air….that's what this smells like at first. Pine needles and that juniper note are present, which makes sense since they were used in the kilning process. But I also get a nice earthy note…like wet leaves that have just fallen to the forest floor and are beginning the process of becoming one with the soil once more. A slight herbal note comes through which I thought was wood tannins at first, but realize quite quickly lean in the herbal direction more so. From there I got a bit of mint/eucalyptus note followed by a citrus tea kind of note which was surprising. Finally there is a smoke note, not peat in any way but a smoke like a distant fire pit that was left to go out the night before and is on its very last legs of life.

Sip in nature in all its glory (Palate)

After nosing this Glencairn for the better part of ten minutes, I was eager and also scared to take the first sip. No time like the present, and away we go. Woah… immediately hit with the freshness of this whisky. The citrus fruit notes I found hit the tongue first with a bright mouthfeel. This is not a heavy dram at all, but I don't think it should be. Not a huge sharpness from alcohol at all. An easy sipper as most Glenmorangie seem to be but this one just hits different. Like there’s something extra in it. A second sip and a rest in the mouth reveals some malt notes. The barley and honey/vanilla notes come through but quickly I get hit with an almost eucalyptus note, peppermint maybe, no more eucalyptus. As the distant smoke note starts to reveal itself, it comes with some caramel or toffee sweetness as well. The finish lingers with a smoked mint and sweetness that leaves me wanting another sip.

Pack out what you pack in (conclusion)

I wanted to hate this whisky. After the first two “Tale Of” releases I figured this would be a gin profiled whisky release. I have tried a vast number of bottles of Glenmorangie over the years, dating back to the 90’s all the way to the current lineup. There have been a few gems for me personally over the years, but since I really dug into my whisky journey I found less and less ‘Morangie’s that have hit me in the right way. Whether the tall stills (Tallest in Scotland) which usually lead to softer fruit forward flavours, or the delicate casking and lower abv levels are at fault, I have always said that Glenmorangie produces a quality whisky that tends to be on the lighter side of the flavour profile spectrum.

This whisky, though, throws that out the window with the bath water. I found myself seriously contemplating this whisky in my glass through the entire sipping process. Yes there are slight gin-like notes due to the actual botanicals that were used, however, the target notes based on the name of this release was spot on. It invoked memories and thoughts of being in woodlands. It surprised me in the best of ways and I may have wanted to hate this release but I must come clean and say I am a big fan of it. That delicate distant smoke note was honestly so fitting in this and the overall presentation. Smoke is not a note I have ever found in any Glenmorangie whisky but here it tied everything together beautifully. Kudos on this release and now I am actually anticipating what may come from Dr. Bill’s curious mind next.

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