Let me explain. Glenmorangie House is owned and run by the makers of the eponymous single malt whisky, first distilled by local farmers William and Anne Matheson in 1843. Their Original is still the mainstay of the distillery, a few miles from the hotel, but 21st-century consumer tastes have changed. Glenmorangie’s very own Willy Wonka of Whisky, Dr Bill Lumsden, has implemented a tide of innovation and experimentation to produce a raft of new whiskies through the use of different casks and by varying the length of maturation. One is Nectar d’Or, its flavours based on Dr Bill’s memory of first entering a French patisserie. My room is called Nectar, hence its theme, and the other six rooms and three two-bedroom cottages are Russell Sage’s take on more of Dr Bill’s sensory influences. Sunset, for example, captures the essence of a whisky called Lasanta – they say that if you could sip a sunset, it would taste like Lasanta – while that tiger in the wardrobe is hidden in a room called Reserve, based loosely on the distillery’s 19-year-old spice and tropical fruit-flavoured Reserve, which (apparently) recalls fantasies of shipwrecks on desert islands.
Just as there are new styles of whisky and new ways of drinking it so, the thinking went, Glenmorangie’s very own house of hospitality, a hotel for the past 20 years, should also have a makeover. In the past, it was the sort of sober place where it felt right to drink your Glenmorangie Original the purist way, with water, nothing else; now a fancy whisky cocktail before lunch (a luscious Long Zest for me, please) feels just right as you debate the merits of whiskies with names like A Tale of Winter, A Tale of Cake, Quinta Ruban and X (specifically designed for cocktails). Glenmorangie, by the way, is pronounced “orangey”, not “angie”: easy to remember once you know that orange is a principal component of its flavour.