The Rare Glenmorangie 1963 Arrives in Texas at Reserve 101 (It Will Set You Back $550 a Shot)

Scotch fans will be excited to hear that Reserve 101, the downtown Houston bar with the largest selection of whiskey in town, just obtained a rare treat: On Saturday, the bar officially received a bottle of Glenmorangie 1963, one of only 50 in the world. Reserve 101 is the only bar in the entire state of Texas that will receive a bottle-- and possibly one of the only bars anywhere, as many of the bottles have already been sold to private collectors.

Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie's Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation, was on hand to introduce the bottle.

Nath Pizzolatto
The Glenmorangie 1963, recently uncovered and only one of 50 bottles in the world, inside its special casing.

"When I'm talking about whiskey, I don't like to just talk about the scientific product facts. I like to talk about some of the human stories and the anecdotes that surround it," Dr. Lumsden opened his remarks, and went to describe how the 1963 was made and discovered. As he explained, the Scotch was distilled in 1963, and is believed to be the first ever wood-finished Scotch. In 1985, the whiskey was transferred to sherry casks to age for two more years, before being bottled in 1987. A case of fifty-three bottles sat in a warehouse corner in Scotland for many years, unnoticed, until Dr. Lumsden discovered them.

"I found 53 bottles of a dark whiskey, and opened one up and tasted it, and lo and behold, I was fairly certain it was the 1963 vintage." Dr. Lumsden contacted a retired Glenmorangie employee who was familiar with the company's older procedures for coding bottles to verify it. "It was important for me to authenticate the product, absolutely... so the 53 bottles quickly became 50," he said, with a bit of laughter.

"If I hadn't stepped in, these might have just been emptied into a vat and put into a blend," Dr. Lumsden explained.

While we were unable to taste the 1963, Dr. Lumsden described the flavor profile to us. "This has spent two years in sherry casks, and you can see how dark it is, how much the sherry influences it. It's very rich, an unashamedly old-fashioned type of whiskey... there's a subtle smokiness in there, and lovely Christmas-type flavors of raisins, dates, and warm spices. It's a beautiful, old-fashioned whiskey."

Nath Pizzolatto
A glass of Glenmorangie Signet, Dr. Bill Lumsden's personal creation.

We were allowed to taste one of Dr. Lumsden's personal creations, the Glenmorangie Signet. Dr. Lumsden described the Signet as being inspired by his love of coffee aromas, and that he wanted to create a scotch with not only a similarly rich aroma, but a flavor to match. To that end, the process of creating the Signet involved roasting the barley, rather than drying it over a peat fire, as is the traditional method. Dr. Lumsden remarked that the chocolate malt is the dominant flavor in the Signet, and this is reflected in the deep color and richness.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info


Reserve 101

1201 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Jeff Berlat
Jeff Berlat

If I had a few million dollars to spare I would.


The jokes on them...bottle aging doesn't improve a Scotch.


Bottle retail price is $2600, 18 pours at $550 = $9900, so $7300 profit for bar


@Lothario  the scotch has been aged for 50  years, then bottled. 

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