It is recognised as one of Scotland's most famous and beloved malts, a name which hardly trips off the tongue and can catch out a few first time drinkers.

For decades Glenmorangie's reputation has largely been built on the strength of its distinctive 10-year-old malt, however, fans will notice a distinct difference in flavour, all borne from a simple question posed by the brand's Whisky Creation team; What if we keep it in the cask for another two years?

This simple change has now lead to Glenmorangie not only replacing their flagship single malt but enhancing everything about the taste.

Launching this year, the new flagship whisky, Glenmorangie 12-Year-Old was a result of an experiment by the distiller's expert tasting panel. Keeping the beloved single malt in the cask for another two years proved to give it extra silkiness, sweetness, and complexity when aged just that little bit more.

Glenmorangie are replacing their flagship whisky with a new 12-Year-Old Original, with bosses saying it enhances everything you know and love about the established taste.Glenmorangie are replacing their flagship whisky with a new 12-Year-Old Original, with bosses saying it enhances everything you know and love about the established taste. (Image: Glenmorangie)

Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation, said re-imagining the classic Glenmorangie was a passion project for him as he tried to re-create the feeling he had when he first tasted a malt made by the distiller he now works for.

He said: “In 1984 when I was studying in Edinburgh for my PhD, I tasted single malt scotch whisky for the very first time. That whisky was Glenmorangie. I'll never forget my first magical sip and how I became beguiled by its complex range of flavours.

“During my many years at Glenmorangie, I have always aimed to keep the whisky true to my memory of that first taste.

“However, recently my team and I started to wonder whether we could reimagine our flagship expression, The Original, for even more deliciousness.

“The result is The Original 12-Year-Old! Smoother, creamier and even more complex, I like to think it ‘turns up the volume’ on our signature whisky’s classic notes.”

The Original 12-Year-Old catapults the much-loved notes of orange, honey, vanilla and peach to a new pinnacle of flavour, Dr Lumsden added.


The experiment has clearly gone down well with its new taste and aroma, as it has already been recognised and rewarded with a prestigious gold medal at the World Whiskies Awards 2024 in London.

With The Original first becoming available for purchase in the late 1950s, changing a proven winning formula was always going to be a bold statement. But bold statements go well with bold tastes and a bright and bold golden colour says Glenmorangie Master Blender and Head of Whisky Creation, Gillian Macdonald.

She told The Herald: “It is of course a bit of a scary thing to do. It is a classic for a reason and whenever you look to change something that’s been there forever, of course, there are going to be risks.

“But we knew we weren’t doing anything radical, and thought if we could improve why wouldn’t we?

“We’ve had trials and sensory panels running to make sure we get it right, and preference testing between the 10-Year-Old and the 12-Year-Old showed more than 80 per cent of the tasters preferred our new original.

“For The Original, we mature it in bourbon casks, and it is used as our benchmark for every other flavour that you can find in our range. It’s very fruity and floral in character, and quite light and delicate.

“The extra two years in the wood really dials up the volume. Everything that we knew and loved about The Original 10-Year-Old has just been emphasised ever so much. So, it is sort of creamier, and still has those elegant recognisable flavours in there, but just taken up a notch.

“It’s almost richer and oilier and has a sort of buttery depth to it.

“This should be ‘out in the wild’, as we call it, on shelves very soon and we are hoping that everyone who knows and loves The Original as it was, will embrace this improvement.

Glenmorangie Master Blender and Head of Whisky Creation, Gillian MacdonaldGlenmorangie Master Blender and Head of Whisky Creation, Gillian Macdonald (Image: Glenmorangie)
“In terms of enjoying it, we’re not big fans of dictating how to drink a whisky. If you’re having a dram, we would always suggest starting off at the bottling strength, because we have put in the bottle at that strength for a reason. So maybe start at that and add a few drops of water, but don’t drown it. Just go slowly with it and you’ll find your happy medium.

“But it is also a super versatile whisky. A lot of people will drink it in cocktails as well, and you will get no judgement from us here. I love a whisky cocktail, especially when someone else is making them.”

With subtle changes being created by the malt’s extra two years in the maturation process, there is no doubt that the design change for the bottle is also subtle. The design still showcases the bright gold colour of the whisky with a bright orange label, and the only change coming to the design is one digit.

The rollout officially begins for select retailers later this month and will gradually be found on shelves across the country as autumn kicks in, subtly replacing The Original 10-Year-Old.

However, for those who cannot wait, The Glenmorangie Original 12-Year-Old is now available online and at the Distillery Visitor Centre in Tain for an RRP of £40.00.