Whisky Advocate

New Glenmorangie “Private Collection” exclusive to Travel Retail

January 30th, 2009

I just got this information today from my U.S. Glenmorangie contact. In a couple months, there will be a new Glenmorangie exclusive to Travel Retail (formerly known as Duty Free). I have an advanced press release on it, which I have included below.

Glenmorangie reveals new PRIVATE COLLECTION with Sonnalta PX

Glenmorangie’s NEW Private Collection is a range of rare, limited edition expressions from Glenmorangie’s award winning Whisky Creators. Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX is the first delicious expression in this Private Collection and is exclusive to global travel retail.

Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX takes its name from the Gaelic translation of “generous” (Sonnalta) and PX (Pedro Ximenez) where the elegant fruity, floral complexity of mature Glenmorangie is transferred to “PX” ex-sherry casks from Jerez in Southern Spain for a period of extra maturation.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation, comments;  ‘Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX is an extraordinarily rich, dark and absording malt whisky.  I take the twice yearly trip to Spain to select the very best PX casks to use alongside our mainstay bourbon barrels from the US. This is our first release for Glenmorangie’s Private Collection, with more rare, delicious releases to come in the future.’

No picture is available yet, and I still don’t have any more information or pricing on it. For those not familiar, PX sherry is incredibly rich, sweet, “raisiny” and dark. (For reference, the Lagavulin Distillers’ Edition is finished in PX sherry.) I’m looking forward to trying this one.

11 Responses to “New Glenmorangie “Private Collection” exclusive to Travel Retail”

  1. Todd says:

    Nice to hear, but I’m not buying Glenmorangie again until they do away with that embarrassing new Fifi perfume bottle design and stop naming their whiskies with pretentious French/Celtic hybrid names – take for example Sonnalta, which sounds like a new sleep medication. I am a drinker of Scotch, not Exclusive Luxury Beverages.


    Todd (the Curmudgeon)

  2. Ruben says:

    That’s what you get when a company is taken over by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Exclusive luxury is their core business…

  3. John Hansell says:

    I did think the Signet bottle looked pretty cool.

  4. Sam S. says:

    O.T. sort of.
    Why do these distillaries make decisions to only sell new versions to duty-free only?
    It really makes it dificult to get your hands on these to try.
    Oh, well.

  5. Neil Fusillo says:

    Selling exclusively travel retail is part marketing, part pure numbers. From what I understand, business travellers purchase more whisky travel retail than any other travel retail item, making it the largest target market. Why the exclusivity, however, seems to be a marketing thing to some degree. I know Givenchy, for instance, sold some of its fragrances exclusively travel retail and discovered they did exceptionally well that way. People were willing to buy specifically for the chance at having something few other people could obtain. They continued this with certain fragrances to great success.

    I’d imagine that, combining your biggest target demographic with a marketing ploy of making them feel a bit more exclusive and elite, is what prompts a good many of these travel retail exclusive whiskies.

  6. Jon W. says:

    The Lagavulin PX finish is outstanding (at least the one I tried), but Glemo and PX seems to run the risk of being overly sweet. Of course, the Nectar D’or is great, so maybe this will work too. I guess we’ll see. Although another NAS bottling is a little disheartening as well (the article doesn’t state that there won’t be an age statement. Just implying from the lack of info). In any case, it will be interesting.

    So what’s the over/under on price? $200, $300, $500? More? Anyone want to make a wager?

    And to Sam S.: I’ve wondered the same thing myself. Obviously there are reasons. We just don’t know what they are. The only “travel retail” exclusive I’ve tried is the Highland Park 16, which I found extremely disappointing. If I were more cynical, I could conclude that it was sold exclusively though “travel retail” because that makes it more difficult to find and adds to the mystique. I had one shot at a “travel retail” bottle. I love HP. Hadn’t heard much about the 16. I can’t get the 16 anywhere else. So the HP 16 was a no-brainer. If it had been more widely available and there had been more reviews, I likely would have passed.

    I don’t know if this is worthy of its own topic, but have there been any truly outstanding Duty Free/Travel Retail exclusives? I’ve heard the Glenrothes 1978 was great, but so limited in quantity that it made sense to target customers with a lot of means (e.g. people who travel internationally regularly). Are there others? I am a relative novice, so apologies if this is a naive question.

  7. John Hansell says:

    Sam S, historically people bought in Duty Free (now called Travel Retail) for two reasons: the price was lower or it was a whisky that you couldn’t find anywhere else. I was in the latter camp, always looking for something special that I couldn’t get back home. Yes, it’s sometimes frustrating that we can’t buy it (if we aren’t traveling anywhere), but it also is a nice perk for those of us who do have to travel.

    Jon W., yes, I was thinking the same thing. Let’s hope they go light on the PX, as Glenmorangie is much more delicate that Lagavulin.

  8. Sam S. says:

    Thanks for replies.

    Jon W.,
    I was able to coax a friend of mine to pick up an HP 21 for me a few months ago.
    It’s very nice, but I don’t think it’s that different compared to HP 18 for me to pay the difference and fight to get it.

  9. Tanguy LeGuyader says:

    Well, I will need to plan again a trip abroad! Can get costly just to buy a bottle.

  10. Stravaigin says:

    Perhaps I’m overstating the obvious, but there’s also the amount of production factor. Many of these special editions are such limited production that they can’t possibly fill major retail outlets. As such, limiting sales to the outlet formerly known as Duty Free may be as much about practicality as exclusivity!

  11. Kurt says:

    If you leave a brilliant whisky like this just because of the design of the bottle, you got your priorities wrong!

    Blind tasted it yesterday and it was a straight winner. Even amongst 34yr old Glen Grant and unfindable Glen Livets & Imperials!

    Beautiful sweet, very fruity whisky.


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