Glenmorangie Bacalta

Distillery: Glenmorangie
Ex-Bourbon + heavily toasted Madeira wine casks
Bottled: 2017
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Another release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition Series. I did enjoy the Milsean from earlier in the series so let’s see how this “sun-baked” member of the range lives up to expectation.

Nose: Sweet and lively. Apple sponge cake and fresh vanilla custard. Tart cider apples, Madeira wine (yes, that sticky, dark flavour is very distinct), and a whiff of tinned peaches.

Palate: More vanilla custard and soft fruit: pears, apples, peaches. Cinnamon and white pepper develop through the mid palate with a touch of dry white wine and pouring cream.

Finish: Quite short with drying vanilla oak.

This is a very pleasant dram, though not astonishing. I enjoy the fruitiness of the nose very much but the palate’s rather too cask-led for me with predictable vanilla and cake notes. I’d be pleased with this for £40 a bottle, but not £80.

Another marketing-driven whisky, alas.

Thanks very much to Andy at Malt Box for sharing this with me. If you’re interested in trying it, there are still bottles available on Master of Malt for £77.95.


Glenmorangie Milsean

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 20.39.46Distillery: Glenmorangie
Ex-Bourbon + retoasted wine casks
Bottles: 30,000
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Glenmorangie recently released this limited edition “Milsean” bottling amid a mild furore of whether or not their re-toasted wine casks constituted as “added flavouring” (banned by the SWA as it contravenes the definition of a Scotch).

Allegedly the wood was still wet with wine and the toasting caramelised the remnants, hence the sweet shop profile and old-fashioned ice cream parlour decor of the bottle and box. Given that the industry allows caramel colouring, I think it’s more than a little hypocritical to lay these accusations at Bill Lumsden’s feet!

Regardless, they didn’t uphold their misgivings and it got the green light to be released. It’s not age statemented, but it is non chill filtered and bottled at 46% (without E150 colouring too).

Nose: Takes a while to open up but it evolves well in the glass. Very clean. As predicted, lots of fruity candy notes: Orange pith, dusty sherbet, hard candy, pear skin, lemon drops, wine gums, apple peel, peach gums. Suddenly there’s coconut ice cream! Very nice.

Palate: Vanilla bean, chilled bananas, and malt sugar with a prominent oakiness developing. Some barrel spice: white pepper and liquorice. Watered down white wine (like ice cubes have melted in it, but in a nice way).

Finish: That oaky wood note really lasts and lasts with double cream and tingly pepper.

I like the nose a lot! The palate is a little unbalanced but I like that; Glenmorangie is usually very mellow and predictable so a few rough edges gives it an appeal that I enjoy. It’s a bit too woody, if I’m honest, but it’s definitely drinkable.

However, at £90 a bottle I think the marketing has overtaken the liquid. You can get really, really good Highland malts (like Pulteney 21) for less.