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09 Feb 2018 By

Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series – Now in its 9th Iteration – Recently Showcased Spìos, the First Single Malt Whisky Fully Matured in American Ex-Rye Whiskey Casks. We Can Tell Ya, It’s Spicy!

Glenmorangie’s annual invitation to check out its Private Edition series – its award-winning collection of rare and limited-edition single malts, now in its 9th iteration – was to showcase Glenmorangie Spìos, the first single malt whisky fully matured in American ex-rye whiskey casks.

Spìos (Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’ and pronounced ‘spee-oss’) recalls the heyday of American rye whiskey. Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, was inspired by the rye distilleries he visited when travelling to the United States in the 1990s, and intrigued by the subtle spicy character of American rye whiskey .

He was determined to one day bring a hint of American rye whiskey’s elegant past to a future Private Edition, and voila, we’ve got Spios, which is indeed spicy, but still elegant, subtle and a welcome addition to their Highland expressions.

Ever forward thinking, Dr. Lumsden sourced the finest first-fill casks from American rye whiskey’s heartland of Kentucky long ago, and arranged for these hand-selected oak casks to be shipped to the Glenmorangie Distillery.

Glenmorangie Spìos single malt whisky

Over the years, the rye casks began to bring their game to the sleeping spirits. The result is a full-bodied single malt whisky that invites rye’s subtleties to shine through.

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“I have always loved American rye whiskey’s spicy character and believed our distillery’s smooth house style would perfectly complement the nuances of ex-rye casks. Glenmorangie Spìos is a full-bodied, savory single malt whisky, that recalls American rye whiskey’s golden age, which fittingly is beginning to regain its former popularity,” Dr. Bill Lumsden. 

Glenmorangie Spìos single malt whisky

[ Fun Fact: The packaging is inspired by ceiling tiles that decorated America’s most prestigious saloons during American rye whiskey’s heyday and contains elements from Glenmorangie’s icon, the Signet.]

Tasting Notes:

  • Glenmorangie Spìos is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV.
  • Color: Haystack gold.
  • Aroma: Fresh, herbaceous, hints of cherry, clove and mint toffee. A splash of water releases more perfumed, ‘ethereal’ notes, crisp, clean and fresh, with myriad herbal notes.
  • Taste: Spicy texture, with toffee, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet, buttery vanilla taste.
  • Finish: Rich, sweet and lingering, with fudge, toffee, brazil nut and tangy citrus.


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