Old-fashioned sweet shops were the inspiration for the newest addition to the Glenmorangie Private Range, Milsean. Indeed, its name means ‘sweet things’ in Scottish Gaelic.
The way the whisky company’s head of distilling and whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, went about achieving this was by finishing Glenmorangie in casks formerly used for red wine in the Douro Valley in Portugal. Usually these would be cleaned of wine residue, but on this occasion (and the first time in the world of scotch whisky, Lumsden believes), the residue remained while they were recharred. ‘That caramelised all that goodness and those sugars,’ Lumsden told Imbibe. ‘The plan was to leave the whisky in the barrels for five years, but it was picking up the flavours so quickly that it only spent two and a half years.’
Lumsden has succeeded in capturing those candied, sweet flavours in the whisky, with everything from preserved cherries to white chocolate notes, as well as a peppery note, leading to a rich, sweet, oakiness on the palate, combined with more generous, caramelised fruit towards the finish. And that sweetness isn’t entirely illusory. ‘Standard scotch has almost no free residual sugar, but there is some in Milsean,’ Lumsden explained.
Milsean, bottled at 46% and non-chill filtered, is the seventh annual release in the Private Edition range, and Lumsden confirms that the next three or four are already in development. And it’s pronounced meel-shawn, in case you were wondering.
£75.99 RRP, Glenmorangie