This review brings the blog up to date on the Private Editions. The Private Edition is a series of annual releases that are off the beaten path of Glenmorangie’s work in some way. The Sonnalta PX highlighted Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, and the second release, the Finealta, tried working off an old recipe, complete with peated barley. The next three editions – Artein, Ealanta, and Companta – highlighted the casks, with Ealanta using virgin oak casks and Artein and Companta matured in wine. Last year’s Private Edition, the Tùsail was made from a strain of barley not used in whisky distillation for several decades – the Maris Otter – which raised the question of the influence of the barley strain on the flavor of the whisky.
This dram was matured in ex bourbon casks, and finished in Portuguese red wine casks. How is this different from the Artein and Companta? Well, with the Milsean the layer of wood which gets charred when the casks are prepared for the whisky was not scraped off. With the charring left intact, this layer was allowed to impart all those caramelized sugars into the whisky, making it truly a sweet toother’s dream. Indeed, in Gaelic Milsean means “sweet things”.
Glenmorangie Milsean – Private Edition VII (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Light copper, thin legs with a bit of residue on the glass.
Nose: Ripe red and green apples, sweet vanilla custard, butterscotch dipped apple, you get some of that beefy sweet wine notes, hints of pears baked in wine and cinnamon. A few drops of water take it deep into pear territory, with honey appearing distinctly in the sweet notes.
Palate: The first thing you get is the Glenmorangie DNA. Clean malt, light and spicy, and then you get the wine dryness and the fresh black pepper. With water, the pepper is somewhat more in the front.
Linger: The linger conjures up the liquid sauce you drizzle on a wine poached pear, with the clove and cinnamon and sweetness that remains in the sauce, together with a somewhat deeper spice. It’s dry, but a soft kind of dry, and with water the peppery element remains longer.
Excellent expression, I liked the red wine matured Companta, but this has a depth to its desertiness that sets it apart. I don’t know if this is the best Glenmorangie ever (unseating the Astar will be very difficult), but it’s easily in the top three!
One small caveat: I’d refrain from adding water to it, not even a few drops.