Every once in a while, liquor brands release special (and rather expensive) editions long awaited by collectors and aficionados alike, but Glenmorangie has officially upped the ante with its latest release: a $9,000 bottle of single malt scotch complete with its own original composition by revered jazz pianist Aaron Diehl.
Glenmorangie Pride 1974 is kind of a big deal for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s old as hell (it sat in a barrel for 41 years) – the brand’s longest aging to date. For those who don’t know, the longer you age, the smoother the whisky (generally). Secondly, the collaboration with Diehl and Steinway & Sons pianos is pretty genius – it’s not only designed to evoke the notes and intensity of the scotch, but it’s also a full-circle multisensory tasting experience that’s essentially the first of its kind.
We got the chance to taste Pride 1974 at the recent private unveiling in New York City at Steinway Hall, during which Diehl performed his composition, “Echoes of the Glen of Tranquility”, and Master Distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden led a tasting around a gigantic cornucopia of delicacies representing the notes within the scotch. It’s rich and complex – which you’d expect and want from a single malt aged that long – with notes of brown sugar, toffee, spiced apples, salted caramel, balsamic, candied oranges; things that Diehl, a Juilliard grad, somehow managed to turn into sound. His personal tasting experience inspired him to “…echo the whisky’s depth of character, its long maturation, and its astonishing tastes,” also citing striking similarities between the distillation and aging processes and the art of composing. You can listen to the piece here.
Pride 1974’s gilded crystal decanter is designed by glassware master Laurence Brabant and is housed in a lacquered cherry wood box with a mirrored interior. A total of 503 bottles were made – limited in pretty much every sense of the word.
So yeah, it’s worth the $9,000 price tag.