A sensory collection

Glenmorangie X The Gourmand

How do you describe a taste with images and music? Specifically, how do you describe Glenmorangie whiskies through the medium of film? How to take the aroma, the taste and the finish and realise them on screen?

This was the task set for David Lane, the co-founder and editor in chief of The Gourmand, a bi-annual award winning food journal of considerable style and considered aesthetic. The specific purpose – to convey the expansive tastes of our single malt whiskies through film and photography – appealed to this creative gastronome and he set about creating a film and an accompanying set of stills which present and interpret the flavour notes and taste profiles for a selection of our whiskies in a remarkable new and visual way.


David explains: “My aim was to make something as sensorially interesting as the real life experience of tasting the whiskies, to present, untypically, what it is to actually sample Glenmorangie. Approaching taste visually is a way to reach those who might not normally consider a great whisky’s complex make-up. It should also intrigue those who already know and admire them.”


“The finished films and stills are involved and compelling, but they are slow, calming, warming even. They are more akin to visiting an art gallery than watching a blockbuster movie. Like the whiskies they represent, they invite some reflection.”


David, who appreciates the wide spectrum of flavours that can be found in whisky, chose to work on Glenmorangie’s core range, bringing to life, cinematically and photographically, the broad spectrum of expressions that is Glenmorangie Original, Glenmorangie Lasanta, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or. The films and still photographs represent the flavour notes and taste profile of those mainstays of our range, interpreted individually and presented in unfamiliar, fantastic fashion.


The Glenmorangie Original film is all about this flagship whisky’s complexity, the whisky’s various and complimentary tastes, from peach to vanilla. It takes the form of a web-like sculpture which houses the multifarious aspects of the whisky’s flavour composition and demonstrates their relationship to one another.


Glenmorangie Lasanta is presented in a film which demonstrates its soft deep warmth (Lasanta is Gaelic for ‘warmth and passion’), its sizzling spices and dried fruits. The focus here is on a growing light, a sun almost, which increases in intensity, conveying the sense of sizzling spice and dried fruits.


Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is shown as a balance between dark, bitter notes and sweet ones. A circular sculpture was broken in half and as the lighting moves from silhouette to full illumination we realise that the two parts we thought to be identical are quite different, one made of orange peel and dark chocolate, the other of Turkish delight.


Finally, the film for Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, our expression extra-matured in sweet white wine barriques from Sauternes, explores layered glass shelves of beautifully stylized pastries coming into golden light, some coconut, some lime, some caramel. Here the camera moves in straight lines, tracking past these tempting elements.


Each film is the visual presentation of tasting notes for each whisky, a journey through the whisky’s flavour composition. “Written tasting notes are well and good,” says David. “But they are, necessarily, a list of things which you approach one at a time. With a film, though, we can achieve something a little more like taste, an overall feeling, which is in fact the way we savor things, in their entirety.”


David art directed the process and directed the films. Set designer Sarah Parker rendered the sculptures they focus on. The films were edited by Mat Nee. The original film scores were created by Joel Wells. The director of stills photography was Jeremy Vallender. The stills were photographed by Gustav Almestal.