A kid in a sweet shop – Glenmorangie Milsean

Glenmorangie Distillery

I wonder if Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, has been to the US recently. Known for taking inspiration from anything and everything from the Brazilian football team (see Ardbeg Auriverdes) to previously-thought-to-be-extinct strains of barley (see Glenmorangie Tùsail) it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s used a recent hop across the pond as the inspiration behind the naming and packaging of the most recent addition to Glenmorangie’s Private Edition range.

Called DeShawn… I mean Milsean (pronounced Meel-shawn, and meaning ‘sweet things’ in Gaelic), and looking like a box of Hershey’s candy cane, the brand new Glenmorangie certainly stands out. Rumour has it you can buy a limited edition gift pack which comes with a selection of presidential candidate lapel pins. Joking aside, Milsean is yet another of Bill’s experiments into cask finishing. Starting life as fairly bog-standard ex-bourbon matured Glenmorangie, the liquid is then finished for several years in heavily toasted ex-Portuguese red wine casks.

Initially, Bill and Bill II (his second in command and eventual successor, Brendan McCarron) wanted to finish the whisky for 5 years in these wine casks, but after two and a half years the effect was so profound they decided not to wait, or else risk the influence of the cask overpowering the liquid. Thus it was bottled late last year and became the 2016 Private Edition, rather than the planned 2018 edition.

Glenmorangie Milsean
Private Edition 2016
46% ABV
£75.95 here

Nose: Cherry lip sweets, raspberry parfait, strawberry laces give this a sweet start, followed by toasted almonds and coconut, chewy toffee, tablet and some chocolate digestives.

Palate: Light and buttery to begin with, with strawberry tart, toffee, honey and glazed walnuts, then the richness comes through, with plum jam, fig rolls, three fruit marmalade, and a touch of charred oak.

Finish: Soft and sweet, Bakewell Tarts and Campino sweets.

Overall: A very interesting Glenmorangie. The influence of the wine casks is just right – it is neither too heavy or tannic, nor is the sweetness too cloying. It’s certainly a whisky for those with a sweet tooth, and if that’s your thing, then this is very rewarding. Just be wary that the terms ‘sidewalk’, ‘flashlight’ and ‘band aid’ may creep into your conversations after having a couple of drams.



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