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Savouring The Glenmorangie Spios At The Pawn Room

Dim lights, fully-stocked shelves and an airy balcony; that’s the perfect setting to indulge the senses with a good bottle of single malt scotch. Arriving just in time for the beginning of the tasting session at The Pawn Room, TTDI, the dodgy staircase up the speakeasy provides the perfect prelude to a cosy night. Just passed the trickery of The Pawn Room’s main door, I was greeted by that familiar watering-hole scent. The star of the show? A Glenmorangie Private Edition special – The Glenmorangie Spìos. (‘Spìos’ is Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’ and pronounced ‘spee-oss’)

Just so you know, Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series is basically a collection of rare, one-off single malts that have been released annually since 2010, each  exploring the Scottish Highland Distillery’s passion for innovation. Previous releases of Glenmorangie’s Private Edition include the Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX, Finealta, Artein, Ealanta,Companta, Tùsail, Milsean and last year’s Bacalta. All of these whiskies have taken home numerous awards globally, and as such, this 46% ABV Spios is also on its way to garnering similar accolades apparently. But did it feel like an award-winning tipple?

Brendan McCarron with the Glenmorangie Spios

Guided by Brendan McCarron, the Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks of Glenmorangie, we compared the straw-gold coloured Spios along side the Glenmorangie Original and Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or. Compared to the full-bodied Original and the raunchiness of the Nectar d’Or, the Spios has a spicy character in general, with hits of cherry, clove and scents of green grass. When you add a dash of water to the Spios, you start to get hints of toffee, more clove and cinnamon, all of which are laced on top its vanilla underbelly note. Personally, Glenmorangie’s Original is this writer’s favourite, but the Spios comes off as the alternative to something like Macallan’s 18 year old or Highland Park’s single malt. It’s a rare alternative though, limited to just 200 bottles in Malaysia. (there might be way lesser after this tasting session!)

Those comparisons are relative to taste buds, but if you must know, this Glenmorangie Spios is inspired by American rye whiskey’s golden era of the late 1990s. The story is that renowned whisky master, Dr. Bill Lumsden, was inspired after travelling to the U.S where the cinnamon and clove notes of the scarce rye whiskey caught his imagination. It was then, that he was sure that this concept should be part of Glenmorangie’s Private Edition of rare whiskies. To make Glenmorangie Spìos, Dr Bill had to sourcec the casks from American rye whiskey’s heartland of Kentucky. And long before the rye resurgence of today began, he arranged for these hand-selected oak casks to be shipped across the world, to the Glenmorangie Distillery up in Scotland’s Highlands.

Sampling this special Scotch was a one of a kind experience, something I would want to do again surely, but then again, don’ take my word for it because as is the way with whisky savouring, it’s always down to a connoisseur’s own preference. Still, if you find yourself wanting to sample something as different, rare and as punchy as the Glenmorangie Spìos, give Moet Hennessy Diageo a ring at  603-2053-8688 or contact them [email protected].

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