The Perfect Pair: The Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990 and Quentin Tarantino's
"Inglorious Basterds"

A Sipping and Streaming Presentation / @vedafy1 / Published February 5, 2021

Grand Vintage Malt 1990 (bottled 2016) bottle and Inglorious Basterds Bar scene

Welcome to the “Whiskey Lover’s Rejoice” Series

Grand Vintage Malt 1990 (bottled 2016) – Bond House No.1 Collection

By Vedafy’s whiskey savant, Alex Gaither

Welcome to another volume of our Whiskey Lovers Rejoice series as we look at new and exciting whiskey trends across the industry. Our mission is not to compete with large established whiskey pages, but instead to bring you an eccentric and innovative approach to whiskey tasting that should enlighten your decision the next time you lift a dram. 

A previous post addressed the classic scotch Glenfiddich; their exceptional 23 year Grand Cru has this distillery crossing a tipping point as it moves into the high-end whiskey space. They delivered a smashing home run with the Grand Cru and likewise, another staple distillery, Glenmorangie, has now hit it out of the park with a fine offering that has recently hit the shelves. 

The Grand Vintage Malt 1990 (bottled 2016) – Bond House No.1 Collection has quite simply, crushed it. I do not often wish to devote low-minded colloquialisms such as “crushed it” to describe a $600 bottle of scotch but they did exactly that with this release.

We have officially entered the multiverse now that a Glenmorangie can now compete with the rich complex distillates from the likes of Kavalan, Balblair, Balvinnie, or the “Eternals”. Yes, this bottle is amazingly complex while offering easy drinking. A complex mouthfeel with an amazing finish.

Is it worth the investment?

Yes, it is. How many of you have a $39 bottle of Glenmorangie original in their house, or drink it for $8 at your favorite bar. Take that bottle and cook it down to a nice reduction of about 2 ML, pull out some fava beans and a nice Chianti, and your heading into a new level of taste and complexity that might get into your head, literally.  

Why do I say this bottle is a reduced version of the original? Well, imagine the 18 year old Glenmorangie, a silky floral honey gold dram, and multiply that by 8 years. That’s The 1990. After spending 26 years in the Glenmorangie combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, it is then bottled at 43% ABV to get a treasure trove of flavor and density, unmatched by most scotches on the market.

THE REVIEW

Nose:

Running through the Queen’s garden at the Windsor castle in early May. Is it possible to literally inhale flowers? Yes, the 1990 is every flower ever gown rising from the pour. Then you have a stack of fresh fruit warmed in the oven, oranges on top of pears on top of apples embedded in a pool of vicuous honey. all with just a hint of butterfat.

Palate:

Warm Japanese silk whipped in a blender with honey butter topped with more silk. The fatty acid, waxy richness sets in and you know every drink will stick around for a while. The fruits and honey blend together with vanilla and sugar with a slight minty-Scope sensation. It is chewy and warm, feels like I’m drinking a canned fruit pie.

Finish: 

The fruit pie is strong, a pastry sweet sugar, with slight tannin. Plus there’s some oak, with lots of vanilla and honey. 

Best Film to Pair this With:  

It can only be 2009’s “The Inglorious Basterds“.

Bar scene from Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds"

"PAIR IT WITH........." / text by Dan O'Brien

A drink of this stellar quality can only be paired with a cinematic experience worthy of such a fine single malt Scotch.

Inglorious Basterds was released in the summer of 2009, quickly receiving massive critical acclaim, eventually landing eight Academy Award nominations and would become director Quentin Tarantino’s highest-grossing film up to that point of his career.

In a World War II era film packed with memorable scenes, full of the sharp, clever dialogue found so often in Tarantino’s films, it’s the bar room scene often highlighted when people discuss their favorite moments of this film. It is certainly one moment in particular that aligns perfectly with Glenmorangie elixor.

This incredibly intense 20 minute scene, filmed almost entirely in the German language, culminates with the moment where the two main combatants share a 30 year old scotch.

Michael Fassbender, as Lieutenant  Arch Hicox, realizes he has given away his pretense as a German officer. August Diehl, as Major Hellstrom, has been poking and prodding at the “officers” at the table, and finally recognizes his instincts were right. They are not Germans, and no one there will get out alive.

Enjoy the dialogue as taken exactly from the Inglorious Basterd’s script, found here on IMDB.com:

          Lt.Hicox picks up his thirty-three year old single malt Scotch, and says;

          LT.HICOX

          (ENGLISH)

          ‘Well, if this is it old boy, I hope

          you don’t mind if I go out speaking

          the kings?

          MAJOR HELLSTROM

          (ENGLISH)

          By all means, Cap’t.

          The English film critic, commando, picks up the thirty-three

          the Nazi Major bought him, and says;

          LT.HICOX

          There’s a special rung in hell reserved

          for people who waste good scotch.

          And seeing as I might be rapping on

          the door momentarily…

          He downs the stuff

          I must say, damn good stuff, sir.’

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