Dr Bill Lumsden’s fascination with the city inspires first Glenmorangie part matured in Mizunara oak casks, with the whisky’s creative inspiration brought to life by Japanese artist Yamaguchi Akira
Launching in South Africa in time for the festive season, Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo is a limited-edition premium single malt whisky combining bright, bold flavours with a soft sweetness – resulting in a dram that is as full of delicious sensory contrasts as Tokyo itself. Japan’s capital has always been a place of great creative inspiration for Glenmorangie’s globe-trotting Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden.
Inspired by the memories, feelings and flavours of his many visits to Tokyo and a desire to experiment with rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks for the first time, Dr Bill and Glenmorangie’s whisky creators have created a limited-edition single malt characterised by enchanting opposites – just as Japan’s capital juxtaposes bustling streets with quiet gardens and ancient customs with ultra-modernism. In the whisky’s flavour profile, pepper meets bitter cherries and coconut, as mouth-watering orange zest fuses with incense and sweet oak. On the finish, classic Glenmorangie flavours of mandarin, almond and marzipan can be detected.
Glenmorangie’s whisky creators have been endlessly experimental on their quest to create delicious whiskies for the last 180 years. Now, Dr Bill Lumsden and his team have continued the tradition of taking whatever captures their imaginations and turning it into whisky with Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo. This single malt encapsulates Tokyo’s contrasting delights, and the influence of complex Japanese Mizunara oak on the Highland distillery’s light, floral character. This is thanks to Dr Bill’s tireless quest to source a small number of Mizunara casks, which are known for bringing a very distinctive and unusual flavour to whisky. The creators balanced the resulting unique and bold flavours from the Japanese oak with Glenmorangie aged in both bourbon and sherry casks to create a deliciously balanced whisky that encapsulates the exhilarating contrasts of Tokyo. To bring the vibrant inspiration and flavours of A Tale of Tokyo to life, Glenmorangie collaborated with Japanese artist Yamaguchi Akira, who has created his own playful perspective of the city’s rich layers of history and culture in an artwork which adorns each bottle and its packaging.
Uniting his trademark maximalist bird’s-eye view style with Glenmorangie’s technicolour palette, it juxtaposes famed landmarks and characteristics from both Tokyo and the Highland Distillery, as well as traditional Japanese pastimes with nods to the whisky’s flavours. From the Tokyo Tower and Ueno Park to Glenmorangie’s giraffe-high stills and lush Mizunara oak trees, there are many intricate, hidden discoveries in his work.
Dr Bill Lumsden said: “I’m lucky to have travelled widely over the years sharing Glenmorangie around the world whilst also gathering new inspiration for whisky creations, and Tokyo has always been one of my favourite places. I’m fascinated by the contradictions between its bustling streets and tranquil gardens, ancient and modern buildings, its many sensory experiences and its culture. My time there over the years made me wonder whether I could capture my experience of Tokyo, and these beautiful intricacies, in whisky form.
“I partly matured a proportion of Glenmorangie spirit in rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks, which I’ve been curious to experiment with for some time. The influence of this wood is incredibly complex and unusual; it required balance and softening with Glenmorangie matured in bourbon and sherry casks, and the result is a dram as full of delicious sensory contrasts as a trip to Tokyo.”
Yamaguchi Akira said: “It’s been a joy to collaborate with Glenmorangie to bring Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo to life through my art. The idea of my home city conjures up so many different thoughts and feelings, and my work reflects Tokyo’s contrasts in many ways. Incorporating hints about Glenmorangie and its whisky really appealed to my sense of playfulness.”
Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo is now available for the first time in South Africa for local whisky lovers to savour. To coincide with the launch of this limited-edition single malt in South Africa, David Blackmore, Glenmorangie Global Brand Ambassador, was in South Africa where the wondrous world of Glenmorangie and the sights, sounds and tastes of Tokyo were brought to life at the official launch event at Kōl Izakhaya, a Japanese-themed restaurant in Hyde Park Corner in Johannesburg that has been featured on the 50 Best Discovery list of the world’s best restaurants.
Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo will be available in South Africa at the following liquor outlets: Norman Goodfellows, Spar Tops, Makro, Checkers, Takealot, Whisky Emporium, Whisky Brothers and other leading retailers. The recommended retail price of this premium limited-edition single malt whisky is R1 599.95.
To explore Yamaguchi Akira’s full artwork as well as a range of cocktails inspired by A Tale of Tokyo, visit glenmorangie.com.
For more information about Glenmorangie, visit www.glenmorangie.com
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