Glenmorangie Unveils Rare 23-Year-Old Single Malt with Azuma Makoto

Glenmorangie recently unveiled an exceptionally rare 23-year-old Highland single malt Scotch whisky, born from a unique collaboration with Japanese botanical artist Azuma Makoto.

This limited edition release celebrates the wonders of nature, combining Dr Bill Lumsden’s whisky craftsmanship with Makoto’s artistic vision, resulting in a masterpiece that delights both the palate and the eyes.

Introduction to Glenmorangie’s New Release

Glenmorangie Highland single malt Scotch whisky has introduced a rare and elemental limited edition, a testament to the marvels of nature.

This exceptional release, the Glenmorangie Dr Bill Lumsden x Azuma Makoto 23 Years Old, is born from a collaboration between Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, and renowned Japanese botanical artist, Azuma Makoto. Their shared appreciation for the natural world, encapsulated in the Japanese concept of Shinra Bansho, serves as the foundation for this extraordinary creation.

Glenmorangie Unveils Rare 23-Year-Old Single Malt with Azuma Makoto

This unique single malt stands as a bridge between two worlds: the rich, storied traditions of Scottish whisky making and the intricate, artistic expressions of Japanese botanical art.

The collaboration is more than a fusion of whisky and art; it is a celebration of the natural elements that inspire both creators. The result is a whisky that not only delights the palate but also tells a story through its complex flavours and beautifully designed packaging.

The Essence of Shinra Bansho

During a visit to Glenmorangie’s Highland Distillery, Dr Bill and Azuma Makoto, a close friend of the brand, were captivated by the breathtaking scenery. Azuma introduced Dr Bill to the notion of Shinra Bansho, which embraces the entirety of nature from the ground to the sky. This philosophy inspired their collaboration, aiming to craft a single malt that celebrates the diverse forms of nature.

The concept of Shinra Bansho goes beyond mere appreciation of the natural world; it embodies a deep, almost spiritual connection to the environment. This holistic view of nature as an interconnected web of life and elements resonates deeply with both Dr Bill and Azuma.

Their partnership seeks to encapsulate this philosophy within every drop of the whisky, creating an experience that is as much about savouring the moment as it is about tasting the whisky.

Crafting the Perfect Whisky

Dr Bill envisioned a whisky that melds Glenmorangie’s floral characteristics with the subterranean elements that nurture plant life. Starting with a classic Glenmorangie aged in bourbon casks, known for its aromas of lemon balsam and orchids, he then blended it with Glenmorangie’s first whisky finished in Chardonnay casks from the Meursault appellation in Burgundy.

This fusion resulted in a whisky rich with notes of rain-soaked moss, burning oak, and earthy forest floor scents, creating a truly elemental and deep flavour profile.

This meticulous process of creation reflects Dr Bill’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of whisky making. By experimenting with cask finishes and blending techniques, he has crafted a single malt that is not only rich in flavour but also layered with complexity.

Glenmorangie Unveils Rare 23-Year-Old Single Malt with Azuma Makoto

Each sip reveals new dimensions, from the bright citrusy notes of lemon balsam to the deep, smoky undertones of burning oak, making it a whisky that invites contemplation and appreciation.

Azuma Makoto’s Botanical Masterpiece

In his Tokyo studio, Azuma Makoto drew inspiration from the whisky’s complex flavours to create a botanical sculpture. Using orchids, roses, and a variety of wildflowers from Scotland and around the world, he intricately intertwined them with tree bark, roots, and moss.

This intricate sculpture, named Shinra Bansho, reflects the natural harmonies and layers present in Dr Bill’s whisky, beautifully depicted on the packaging.

Azuma’s approach to his art is as meticulous and thoughtful as Dr Bill’s approach to whisky making. By selecting flowers and plants that mirror the flavours found in the whisky, Azuma creates a visual representation of the taste experience.

His sculpture is not just a piece of art but a sensory journey that complements the whisky, allowing drinkers to engage with the spirit on multiple levels. The collaboration between these two masters in their respective fields has resulted in a product that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Dr Bill Lumsden expressed his admiration for the collaboration: “Our partnership with Azuma Makoto is a delightful celebration of nature’s wonders. This 23-year-old single malt, our first finished in Chardonnay casks from Burgundy, captures nature in its entirety with notes of lemon balsam, poached pears, and cocoa powder, layered over oaky, earthy tones of the forest floor. Azuma-san’s stunning sculpture, featured on the packaging, evokes the fragrant scents and elemental depths of this extraordinary whisky – a true gift from nature.”

His reflection highlights not only the technical achievement of the whisky but also the emotional and sensory journey it represents. Dr Bill’s passion for whisky making shines through in his detailed description of the flavours, each note meticulously crafted to evoke the essence of nature.

His collaboration with Azuma Makoto brings an added layer of depth, making this release a holistic celebration of both taste and artistry.

Azuma Makoto also shared his thoughts on the collaboration: “I was honoured to partner with Dr Bill for this special celebration of Shinra Bansho. My sculpture is a tribute to the Earth’s blessings, expressing my gratitude for nature and the flavours of the Highlands, which are so deliciously encapsulated in Dr Bill’s whisky.”

For Azuma, this collaboration is an opportunity to explore new forms of expression through the medium of whisky. His botanical sculptures are a reflection of his deep respect for nature and his desire to capture its beauty in a form that can be appreciated by all the senses.

By working with Dr Bill, he has been able to translate the flavours and aromas of the whisky into a visual and tactile experience, creating a harmonious blend of art and nature.

Availability of the Glenmorangie 23-Year-Old

This exquisite whisky will be available at select retailers in the UK, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, and the USA. It will also be available at Glenmorangie’s inaugural boutique at London’s Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2.

Glenmorangie’s decision to make this limited edition whisky available in select international markets reflects the brand’s commitment to sharing its creations with a global audience. Each bottle is not only a testament to Glenmorangie’s craftsmanship but also a piece of the collaborative artistry between Dr Bill and Azuma Makoto.

Glenmorangie Unveils Rare 23-Year-Old Single Malt with Azuma Makoto

Whisky enthusiasts around the world will have the opportunity to experience this unique blend of Scottish and Japanese artistry, making it a truly global celebration of nature and flavour.

Conclusion

The Glenmorangie Dr Bill Lumsden x Azuma Makoto 23 Years Old stands as a testament to the beauty and complexity of nature. This collaboration not only highlights the unique flavours of the whisky but also celebrates the interconnectedness of the natural world.

Through this limited edition release, Glenmorangie and Azuma Makoto invite whisky enthusiasts to savour the intricate layers and depth of this extraordinary creation, truly a gift from nature itself.

This release is more than just a new addition to Glenmorangie’s portfolio; it is a statement about the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence. By collaborating with a renowned artist like Azuma Makoto, Glenmorangie has created a product that transcends traditional whisky making.

It is a celebration of nature, art, and the enduring bond between Scotland and Japan, offering a unique and unforgettable experience to those fortunate enough to enjoy it.

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