Glenmorangie Milsean Highland Single Malt Whisky is the latest Glenmorangie Private Edition. It is the creation of Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation and Distilling, and is inspired by the old jars of sweets and multi-coloured confectionery of traditional sweet shops, that are now such a rare sight on our high streets.
In keeping with 4 out of the last 6 Glenmorangie Private Editions, Glenmorangie Milsean, the seventh Private Edition release, is distinctive due to is unusual wine cask finish. The first Private Edition was released in 2010, and just to recap, the 6 releases have been,
Glenmorangie Sonnalta – extra matured in ex- Pedro Ximenez, dessert Sherry casks.
Glenmorangie Finealta – a recreation of a Glenmorangie from the early 1900s, aged in Oloroso Sherry Casks with a whisper of peat.
Glenmorangie Artein – matured in rare Super Tuscan red wine casks.
Glenmorangie Ealanta – Not a special wine cask finish but matured in virgin oak casks from the Mark Twain Forest.
Glenmorangie Companta – matured in combination of Grand Cru Burgundy casks from the Clos du Tart vineyard and some casks that had previously held a red dessert wine from the Rhone.
Glenmorangie Tusail – the second release not based on wine casks but an artisanal single, hand-crafted using floor-malted Maris Otter barley, a rare type of barley.
Glenmorangie Milsean, 2016 Private Edition
Initially the whisky for the Glenmorangie Milsean undergoes a typical maturation in Bourbon casks but then it extra-matured in specially selected ex-wine casks. In this case the casks are ex-red wine casks sourced from the Douro wine-growing region of Portugal. Although the Douro is most famous for its historic sweet Port wines, there is a new wave producers making fantastic red wines. Of course, where the casks come from is a secret, but the best Douro red wines are usually a “field blend” of grapes which include varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Sousao and others. The wines that are produced tend to big and rich, yet elegant, with plenty of fruit and spicy character. So expect dark fruit character and spicy flavours.
However, not content with just using the casks as they are, the casks destined for the Glenmorangie Milsean are shipped to Scotland where there are re-toasted with live flame to enhance the sweeter notes of Glenmorangie. The result is a sumptuous whisky characterised by the sweetness and piquancy of the toasted casks combined with the rich, fruity flavours of the wood finish.
According to Dr Bill Lumsden, “A glass of Glenmorangie Milsean transports me straight to an old-fashioned sweet shop with its sweet and spicy bouquet, with hints of sugar cane, ripe fruits and fudge. Extra-maturing Glenmorangie in heavily toasted red wine casks for the first time, has allowed us to create a whisky recalling a bygone era. I hope its deep tastes of cherries, angelica, candied orange peel and unusual intensity of caramelised fruits, will surprise and delight whisky aficionados and malt connoisseurs.”
And why Glenmorangie Milsean? Milsean is the Scots Gaelic for “sweet things”, which gived a big clue to the style. It is pronounced meel-shawn. Only 5000 cases produced.
Glenmorangie Milsean Tasting Notes from the Glenmorangie website,
At full strength, perfumed, sweet and spicy with hints of sugar cane, ripe fruits, sherbert lemons and fudge.
With water, more candy sweetness (dolly mixtures, sugared plums and sweet candy), with the over-riding fragrance of sweet, buttery coconut. Sweet lemon and limes, with hints of exotic ripe melons.
A thick buttery, oily texture with a hint of tingling spices and a hint of chilli giving way to a sweet, luscious candy-like flavour followed by a mix of tart plummy fruit, candied orange peel, cherries, angelica and then more fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums and melons.
Long and spicy, but always with a sweetness in the background, with flavours such as ginger, brown sugar, sweet tobacco and cake mix.