Glenmorangie uses ‘rare’ barley for new TùsailBy Amy Hopkins
Glenmorangie has extended its Private Edition range with the launch of Tùsail, a single malt made from “rare” Maris Otter barley.
The no-age-statement expression is the sixth release in the distillery’s Private Edition range, which was joined by Glenmorangie Companta last year.
Said to have a “unique taste”, Maris Otter barley was first commercially harvested 50 years ago, but supply and quality dropped as craft brewers switched to barley varieties with greater efficiencies.
By the late 1980s, uncertified seed and cross-pollination put Maris Otter at risk of extinction.
However, two British seed merchants formed a partnership in the 1992 to re-establish the grain’s purity and save Maris Otter from being wiped out.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of distilling and whisky creation, ordered a batch of the winter barley and arranged for it to be traditionally floor malted.
“When we heard the story of those determined to preserve such a flavoursome grain, their ethos – and the barley itself – seemed the perfect match for a Glenmorangie single malt,” he said.
“I knew its deep flavour profile would provide an intriguing contrast to Glenmorangie’s more delicate house style, creating a whisky to enchant connoisseurs.”
Lumsden describes Glenmorangie Tùsail, bottled at 46% abv and priced £75.99, as having a “rich and rustic” flavour of toffee, sweet barley, ginger, cinnamon, molasses and dates, which complement the flagship Glenmorangie notes of peach, orange and smoked pears.
In 2013, whisky expert Jim Murray named Glenmorangie Ealanta the “best whisky in the world” in his Whisky Bible.