Working out of his home, especially his kitchen – “my blending laboratory, much to my wife’s dismay” — Dr Bill Lumsden has been riding out the pandemic like a pro. Glenmorangie’s director of distilling and whisky creation has been instrumental in the launch of A Tale of Cake, a dessert-ready single malt Scotch whisky, as well as X by Glenmorangie, a single malt for mixers and cocktails. He discusses trends and personal favourites with The Hindu Weekend:
1. Whisky cocktails made with premium malts. Yea or nay?
Absolutely yes! My favourite whisky cocktail right now is the Ardbeg 10-year-old Whisky Sour.
2. Smart whisky bottles, with an embedded chip.
We will see more and more of this. It gives the customer a guarantee of authenticity.
3. Collaborations with other creators
Yes, this we have done, are doing and will do. We have done this with the Japanese artist Azuma Makoto who makes creations out of flowers, for Glenmorangie’s 18-year-old scotch. It helps bring your brand alive.
4. Your favourite style of whisky
I do enjoy very smoky whiskies or sherried whiskies, but my favourite style is fruity and smooth and elegant like the Glenmorangie 10-year which coincidentally was the first single malt I drank as a student.
5. Small distilleries versus large ones
Anything that adds variety to the mix is a good thing. But larger distilleries have grown large for a good reason: the product is excellent. Smaller doesn’t mean better; it just means it is smaller. You can’t correlate size with quality.
6. My last dram on earth would be…
My last two bottles of 1981 Glenmorangie Manager’s Choice from a single first-fill bourbon barrel, which I bottled when I was distillery manager. To me it’s the most perfect Glenmorangie.