10 February 2016

The Glenmorangie Milsean "A Cavalcade of Candy"

In addition to the ever growing wealth of whisky shows and fests that have popped up over the last few years, the whisky calendar is now also well and truly firmed up with a plethora of annual releases from brands launching premium priced, non-core range expressions that have either been uniquely aged, finished or are experimental in some way.

From Special Releases to Committee bottlings, these highly anticipated and limited in number offerings, provide pieces of liquid distillery history to enthusiasts and collectors alike, or sadly but in thankfully lesser numbers, whisky auction fodder for those wanting to make a quick buck.

The annual releases roll into action each January, with the more experimentally focussed Private Edition series launch from The Glenmorangie. Where to date different wine finishes, barley types, cask management and the traditional use of peat have been used to create some truly exciting and enticing drops of dramspankage.

This year and as ever with Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation at the helm, the 7th bottling in the series was recently launched, in the form of The Glenmorangie Milsean. A non-age statement (NAS) bottling, which takes its name from the Gaelic for 'Sweet Things' and is essentially their 10 Year Old Original expression, that has been extra-matured in heavily toasted Portuguese red wine casks.

The nose kicks off with a colossal candy cavalcade of cherry drops, pineapple cubes, dolly mixtures, lemon sherbets, coconut ice and all the strawberry chocolate fondants from a box of Quality Street. Followed by a big wondrous wedge of summer pudding, drenched in cold Ambrosia custard.

Orange zest, granny smith apples and a medley of fresh tropical fruit, infused with tobacco leaf and black pepper make for the next set of nasal niceties, along with ready rolled icing, vanilla fudge, sugared almonds and something rather ravishingly bourbon-esque.

The palate dishes up and delivers all the promises that were made on the nose, with all the organised calorific candy commotion balancing out and evolving into a wealth of more five a day friendly dried fruits, assorted citrus peels and maraschino cherries.

Warm treacle tart, oven baked bananas and a buttered slice of Jamaican fruit bun then make for the next trio of palatable pleasures, along with cinnamon sticks, ground black pepper and oodles of opulent and charismatic charred oak.

Just as an athlete would aim to deliver his or her best in all parts of a triathlon, this candy-copia of a dram is as tenaciously triumphant on the nose, palate and on its lush linger-ette of a finish, in this Glenmorangie dramathlon.

All in all, this latest release is a superb new addition to the Private Edition series. But the real highlights and heroes that stand out during every savouring sip, are the rich and robust, feisty and fruity Glenmorangie distillery signature style of notes, which this dramspanker exudes effortlessly in abundance.

So if Milsean stretches the boundaries of your budget (RRP £75.99) I urge you to try or revisit the Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original (RRP £29.99) to experience and appreciate a true cracking corker of a core range classic.