Glenmorangie has launched A Tale of Tokyo, the latest in its range of special editions exploring specific influences on its spirit.
The limited-edition single malt has been part matured in Japanese mizunara oak casks, the first time Glenmorangie has used this cask type in its maturation, alongside bourbon and sherry casks.
The new expression draws on the memories and inspiration that Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie's director of whisky creation, has taken from Tokyo during his travels to the city.
A Tale of Tokyo follows 2020's A Tale of Cake, finished in Hungarian Tokaji sweet wine casks, and A Tale of the Forest in 2022, which featured barley kilned with woodland botanicals including pine needles and juniper.
To create the packaging artwork for A Tale of Tokyo, Glenmorangie partnered with Japanese artist Yamaguchi Akira, who is best known for his maximalist bird's-eye view-style illustrations. His artwork design for the whisky's packaging incorporates landmarks and features of both Tokyo and the Highland distillery, including the Tokyo Tower, Ueno Park, Glenmorangie's famously tall stills – and even small figures of 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 A Tale of Tokyo to life through my art. The idea of my residing home 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 (46% ABV) will be available from Selfridges exclusively from 1–15 October, then be available from 16 October onwards at specialist whisky retailers, glenmorangie.com, and clos19.com at a recommended price of £76.