Distiller: Glenmorangie. ABV: 46%. Region: Highlands. Age: 12.5 years (though officially no age statement). Price: $100.
Our first taste of Glenmorangie’s 7th Private Edition bottling, Milsean, made us feel like kids in a candy store. We had the pleasure of being walked through a tasting of this new release–which means “sweet things” in Gaelic–by Glenmorangie Master Distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden at a launch event in Chicago.
Dr. Bill said his own sweet tooth came from the privations of his Presbyterian upbringing: if he asked for a treat as a boy, he’d get a slice of buttered bread. With the Milsean, he’s making up for it.
The new bottling was meant to be on the sweeter side. They started with the standard Glenmorangie 10, then finished it for two and a half years in heavily re-toasted red wine barriques from the Douro region of Portugal. Initially, Dr. Bill said, they wanted to finish it for 5 years, but the re-toasting so heavy (leading to major caramelization of the wood sugars on the inside of the barrel), that they were concerned about the result being too sweet.
We think they hit it just right. The nose has caramel, pepper, and candied oranges, with hints of sugar cane and candied lemon. The taste is also on the sweeter side, with slight peppery chile and chocolate fudge. The finish is unusually long and spicy with hints of brown sugar and the European Oak.
It’s meant to be a one-time annual release, with 5,000 cases on the market. Cheers, friends! -JTR & TM