Be it a birthday or an anniversary, there will always be an occasion we look forward to every year like a kid counting down the days til Christmas. For many, Glenmorangie’s annual Private Edition is perhaps one such occasion. I’m sure many would agree when I say Glenmorangie is perhaps one of the most iconic modern pioneers in the Scotch industry, and the Private Edition range bears further testimony to the innovative spirit of Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation.
This year’s Private Edition, Milsean was matured in ex-bourbon American oak barrels for approximately 10 years, then extra matured in re-toasted Portuguese red wine casks for approximately 2.5 years. Why re-toasted, you may ask? According to Dr Bill Lumsden, this is to caramelize any sugar from the residual wine into the wood, thus allowing the whisky to draw on extra sweetness as it spends time in the re-toasted barrel.
‘Milsean’, Scots Gaelic for ‘sweet things’, is exactly that.
Nose: A tad closed at the start, but after aeration (or God forbid, a few drops of water), it certainly does open itself up to reveal a chest full of treasures. Boiled lollies, musk sticks, blackcurrant and assorted berries, caramel, hints of sweet spearmint laced with eucalyptus.
Palate: Oh, so very sweet and syrupy. A plethora of sweet flavours of every description, perhaps best represented by the bag of mixed lollies I used to be able to get from the school tuckshop before the cursed “Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Schools” rolled out in 2007. (Yes, I’m still quite salty about the upset to our primary school era food trading system following the overnight disappearance of the most common playground currency, aka 10c fantales and 20c tubes of fizzers, and the subsequent economic turmoil that only began to settle as kids across the state tethering on the edge of morbid obesity scrambled for the next best substitute with equal disgust and reverence – “healthy” frozen juice cups.)
Finish: Sweet and satisfyingly lasting, with hints of eucalyptus and more blackcurrant, and a surprising hit of spice.
Interesting fact: Rumour has it, the packaging was decided before the casks were even selected. Go figure.
Rating: ★★★★★★★ 7/10
★: Drink out of a paper bag in a gutter during a storm.
★★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★★: Best served mixed with something with flavor.
★★★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★★★: Impressive, something you can proudly share with friends.
★★★★★★★★: Fantastic addition to any bar or collection.
★★★★★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this.
★★★★★★★★★★: Nectar of the God’s, sell the house and move in next to the Distillery/Brewery.