The Glenmorangie Distillery in the Royal Burgh of Tain, situated in Scotland’s Northern Highlands, produces this much loved single malt. Renowned for its delicate complexity, Glenmorangie is also famous for its pioneering use of wood finishes. Wood finishing is the term used to describe the process whereby whisky that has first been matured in ‘traditional’ casks - that is to say ex-Bourbon barrels or ex-sherry casks - is then transferred to a different type of barrel that has usually held another alcoholic liquid, whether a wine or another spirit.
Glenmorangie is initially matured for at least 10 years in Bourbon barrels to produce the house standard Glenmorangie Original. Some of the whisky continues its maturation in the traditional casks, to produce the 18 and 25 year old expressions, but a proportion of this mature spirit is then subject to extra maturation in a variety of other casks. Ex-Sauterne casks in the case of Nectar D’Or or ex-port pipes in the case of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. As well as finishing their whisky in casks that previously held other liquids, Rachel Barrie and Bill Lumsden - who oversee the process - have experimented with custom made finishing casks to produce expressions such Glenmorangie Astar.