Cask master: Glenmorangie House to host exclusive whisky weekends
Clos19’s experiences division presents its very own highland fling in the dramatic reaches of Scotland
Spend your money on experiences rather than things – this now popular philosophy has weight and wisdom. A great experience will enrich and educate you well beyond it’s actual duration, especially if it has been created, with note-perfect finesse, by those who know a thing or two about life’s pleasures.
Clos19 is a lifestyle retail house, and a branch of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of LVMH. Embracing this life philosophy, Clos19 is presenting a range of experiences that bring a new dimension to the enjoyment of LVMH’s champagnes, wines and spirits. From a bespoke Champagne tour to foraging in New Zealand, they have used their credentials and expertise in the luxury world to curate adventures and encounters in spectacular settings — none more breathtaking than the Highlands of Scotland, where the Glenmorangie Experience takes place.
The immersive experience is particularly resonant in the Highlands, where the elements of earth, wind and water, and the dramatic landscape, are so intimately connected with the whisky scene. Glenmorangie means ‘the glen of tranquility’ – and it lives up to its name. Serenity can be felt from the moment you arrive.
Staying amidst the tartan elegance and considerable comforts of Glenmorangie House, you are surrounded by the very fields of swaying barley from which Glenmorangie single malt whisky is made. This, and water from the mineral-rich spring, (whose location is a closely guarded secret), are its only ingredients, apart from the passion and life-work of those who distill it.
There is mysterious alchemy in the creation of fine whisky — the subtle nuances and fantastic complexity of its flavour belie the apparently simple ingredients. Exceptional skill and knowledge, and a certain artistic sensibility, are required to produce the elixer. It is not for nothing that Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, has won numerous accolades and become an icon of the whisky world.
The personal tour of the distillery (pictured top), guided by an expert, sheds light on the process — barley, casks and all. Did you know, for instance, that the golden hue of whisky comes purely from the wood of the cask? (The spirit is crystal clear before it is transferred from the stills to the oak casks.) Your understanding will be further expanded at a behind the scenes warehouse tasting, where a range of Glenmorangie expressions are sampled in-situ.
Nothing though, makes you appreciate the spirit of the Highlands like feasting on the superb local seafood and (delicious) haggis, whisky glass in hand, while being serenaded by a bagpiper. Rich layers of tradition and history are woven into The Glenmorangie experience, and local artists celebrated — you may even try your hand at stone-carving, under the expert eye of sculptor Barry Grove.
The ancient art of falconry is another possibility, if you so desire. The grip of a hawk’s talons, or the weight of an owl, is a strange and beautiful sensation. Either way, this tapestry of pleasures, with whisky woven in, leaves a lasting impression. §