Great whisky should be peaty, right? Or surely carry the salty tang of some wave-beaten island warehouse? Well, not necessarily. Not for the first time, Glenmorangie’s whisky wizard Dr Bill Lumsden has come up with something unexpected and completely delightful. His latest creation, the appealingly named A Tale of Cake, aims to celebrate the joy of cake. And who doesn’t like cake?
Certainly, Dr Bill does. “Like so many of us, some of my favourite memories come from cake, whether it be helping my granny in her kitchen, or the pineapple birthday cake my daughter surprised me with one year.” But this is no ordinary comestible – rather, it’s a liquid tribute to the memory of cake. And, if it worked for Proust and his famous madeleines soaked in tea, who is to gainsay Dr Bill this noble attempt to encapsulate cake’s magic in a single malt whisky.
The key to this, of course, is the shrewd selection of the right cask for maturing the spirit. Starting with the famously delicate Glenmorangie, from the distillery’s celebrated tall stills, this has been finished in casks formerly holding Tokaji wine. Once one of the most famous and expensive wines in the world, Tokaji was coveted by royal customers including Peter the Great, King Louis XIV, Catherine the Great, and connoisseurs such as composer Joseph Haydn, who happily took payments in the wine.
Bursting with the flavours of honey, white chocolate and fruit, A Tale of Cake also shows the classic Glenmorangie notes of citrus and mint. It can be enjoyed by itself, in a Pineapple Old Fashioned Cocktail (recipe below) or, funnily enough, with cake – the distillery suggest a form of pineapple layer cake. It’s bottled at 46 per cent abv, though no age is given and it’s a limited release, available now exclusively through London’s Selfridges until 18 October (£75).
From 18th October it should be available from other whisky specialists. Grab a slice while you can and see what sweet memories it conjures up.
Pineapple Old Fashioned.
- 50 ml Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake
- 7.5 ml coconut water
- 7.5 ml pineapple syrup
- 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
- 1 pinch black pepper
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass over block/ cubed ice.
Garnish with a twist of orange zest and a walnut (call me a heretic but I believe you could live without the walnut, though Paychaud’s bitters are pretty hard to replace).