Glenmorangie Milsean (Gaelic for Sweet Things) is the latest in the yearly Private Edition releases by the always curious Dr. Bill Lumsden who oversees the production of both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. He’s the mastermind behind all of Ardbeg’s and Glenmorangie’s core releases and special editions. So if you don’t like a release from either of those he’s the guy to blame! 😉
To make the Glenmorangie Milsean Dr. Bill and team got their hands on 269 Portuguese red wine barriques (casks) and had them re-toasted. This re-toasting caramelized the sugars from the wine which meant there was a lot of soluble sugars in the barrels for the 10 year old Glenmorangie spirt they dumped in them to absorb. Following their filling, Dr. Bill kept tabs on the barrels and moved them around the warehouses as needed to keep the spirit maturing the way he wanted it to.
After 2 years of monitoring, 167 of the wine barriques were chosen to be dumped, blended together and then put back in the casks for another 6 months to marry and finish. After the additional finishing was complete they dumped the barrels, chill filtered the whisky and bottled it as Glenmorangie Milsean. One interesting side note we learned at the release is that Glenmo uses a more mild form of child filtration. They only cool the whisky down to 7 degrees celsius (44.6 fahrenheit) and uses a “wider than average” filter to allow some of the oils to remain in the whisky. Interesting indeed, but now it’s’ time to move on to the Glenmorangie Milsean review!
Glenmorangie Milsean Info
Region: Highland, Scotland
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Portuguese Red Wine
Age: NAS (12.5 years per Dr.Bill)
Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Glenmorangie Milsean Review
Smells like an olde time candy shop which, coincidentally, is what they were going for. Vanilla, butterscotch, malt, candy dots on wax paper, tropical and orchard fruit, citrus peels and dried fruit with lots of other light sweet notes floating about.
A tab bit maltier than the nose, but it’s still dominated by that same candy shop essence. I’s filled with both light and dark sweet notes accompanied by fruit, chocolate and lemon zest with a touch of baking spice.
Medium fade of fruit, powdered sugar and a buttery sweetness.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Can’t exactly call it balanced as it’s one sweet note after another. However, it does have a nice full body and a soft syrupy feel to it.
A single glass of Glenmorangie Milsean is not a bad thing, but I could tell as I got towards the end of my generous sample glass that if I had a second the sweetness would get the better of me. I’m not a sweets person (salty / savory) so this one is moving out of my comfort zone, but I’m not so saccharophobic that I can’t tell when a whisky has merit. There were no foul, harsh or off notes so I can’t completely trash it just because I don’t have a sweet tooth.
At the tasting when Dr.Bill asked who liked the Glenmorangie Milsean it looked like more women’s hands went up and I heard more women’s voices than I did men and the event was about a 50/50 split. I’m not saying only women like sweet things, 2 of the biggest sugar fiends I know are men, and this could have been because the guys didn’t want to admit they liked such sweet whisky.
If I were to lay a bet I’d say liking this whisky has far more to do with an individual’s tolerance or inclination for sweets than it does with what’s between their legs. So if you like sweet things you’re going to love the Glenmorangie Milsean. If you don’t… you won’t.
SCORE: 80-82/100 (B-, not consumed at home)
Glenmorangie Milsean Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 82
- Palate - 80
- Finish - 81
- Balance, Body & Feel - 77
Glenmorangie Milsean is so sweet that it’s a bit off-putting to me, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. If you’re a fan of sweet things go for it. If you’re like me and are more of a savory/salty kind of person then I’d recommend leaving it on the shelf.