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Issue 97 - Highland Roots

Whisky Magazine Issue 97
July 2011


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Highland Roots

Glenmorangie has been at the forefront of single malt whisky innovation in recent months. But as Dominic Roskrow reports, the distillery's staying true to its roots.

If I had to use two words to describe the last 18 months they would be ‘frantic' and ‘fantastic'. That's fantastic as in the stuff of fantasy.
It's been a hell of a ride, hasn't it? Six figure whiskies launched in the most expensive crystal-ware with labels featuring the exclusive pictures of the world's coolest photographers; malt at the centre of record-breaking auctions in the heart of London and New York; swanky launches in the world's greatest hotels, luxury whisky shows in Vegas and Taipei; daily reviews of new whiskies fired through the stratosphere by an army of bloggers who have already moved on to the next release before you can say ‘twitter.'
It all seems a long way from a quiet dram in the Craigellachie after trekking in the Grampians, from the theraputic calm of salmon fishing The Spey near Easter Elchies House; and most of all, from the small and sleepy beach at Tain in the North East
of Scotland.
I was on this beach the day the management of luxury giants Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey asked for some privacy while they told the staff what the future would hold under their stewardship, and in some ways lit the torch paper for the industry madness that ensued.
When you take a walk along this beach and look over to the distillery, London, New York and Taipei have never looked further away. And as you take in the serenity and beauty of it all, you can't help but ask yourself: are our whisky makers losing the plot? Have the marketers turned single malt whisky ...

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