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Glenmorangie Aims Upscale With Three New Releases

April 25, 2017

With the single malt Scotch whisky market continuing to flourish, Moët Hennessy’s Glenmorangie Co., led by president Marc Hoellinger, is seeing ongoing gains for both its namesake Highland brand and Islay-based portfoliomate Ardbeg.

Recent weeks have seen Glenmorangie unleash a new product blitz, including three fresh propositions aimed squarely at single malt’s high end. This month, the brand is unveiling the latest installment in its vintage Pride collection, Glenmorangie Pride 1974. The 41-year-old whisky, which follows 1978 and 1981 Pride expressions, is limited to 503 bottles in the U.S., retailing at $9,050 each.

In addition to Pride 1974, Glenmorangie has recently introduced Bacalta, the eighth release in its Private Edition series, and Grand Vintage Malt 1990, which inaugurates its Bond House No. 1 Collection. Bacalta ($100) was extra-aged in specially-designed casks seasoned with Malmsey Madeira. Grand Vintage Malt 1990 includes whisky aged in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks and retails at $630.

Hoellinger tells SND that while such special editions used to be mainly the province of whisky aficionados, Glenmorangie is seeing new consumers accelerate their whisky education, and dive more quickly into the connoisseur segment. “The malt consumer used to be very much at the end of their whisky journey, having started with blended Scotch and eventually traded up,” he says. “Now we’re seeing new consumers, younger consumers, entering directly into the single malt category. And they’re experimenting not only within Scotch but also across American and other whiskies.”

Amid single malt’s rising tide, Glenmorangie grew 6% to 135,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, while stablemate Ardbeg rose 8% to 22,000 cases. Ardbeg, which has cultivated a small but devoted following for its peaty malts, is also drawing in new consumers interested in the smoky Islay style. “Ardbeg is the ultimate craft malt,” says Hoellinger. “The distillery is still very much the way it was two centuries ago.” —Daniel Marsteller & Shane English

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