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Issue 80 - Ask the expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 80
June 2009


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Ask the expert

If you have a question for John,send it to or by post to Questions & Answers, Whisky Magazine, St Faiths House Mountergate, Norwich,England, NR1 1PY

I am a huge fan of Glenmorangie single malt Whisky and I take great interest in the news that the distillery has installed four new copper stills to meet world demand for their product. I was told by a friend of mine who is also a Glenmorangie collector that they do a ritual called sweetening the stills. As I know you have a background in the distilling of whisky can you give me details into what this would entail.

Any information would be much appreciated.

K M Washington, Devon, England

You are correct Glenmorangie have just installed four new copper stills, the tallest swan necked in Scotland, and they have done a ritual called sweetening the stills for generations when the stills were renewed. It is a process of collecting herbs, lichen, and heather from the area around the Tarlogie Springs which supplies the distillery with its water. This collection of herbs is boiled and the botanical infusion distilled passes through the distillation process which sweetens and takes the edge off the new copper and helps give Glenmorangie the sweetness it is associated with.

I would like to draw on your wealth of whisky knowledge. I have a friend who won a bottle of Johnnie Walker The Directors Blend and wants to sell it for charity so could you give her a guide price for her to put a reserve on it ? The details on the bottle are Johnnie Walker The Directors Blend, Limited Bottling 2008.

This bottle is guaranteed to be one of 450 bottles. Signed by Master Blender, Jim Beveridge J ...

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