Glenmorangie Milsean

Glenmorangie Milsean Highland Single Malt Whisky
46% ABV
$100
Website
glenmorangie-milsean-private-edition-whisky
What the Distillery Says:
Glenmorangie Milsean (Scots Gaelic for ‘sweet things’ and pronounced ‘meel-shawn’) is a single malt whisky full of intense candied fruit flavours and mouth-watering sweetness. It has been created from Glenmorangie matured in ex-bourbon casks and then extra-matured in former wine casks, re-toasted for the purpose. This distinctive cask preparation replicates something of the moreish sweetshop flavours in a single malt whisky.

It is the seventh annual release in our multi-award-winning and always intriguing Private Edition range. And Glenmorangie Milsean, with its remarkable sweetshop allusions, may be the most intriguing of them all.

Aroma: Perfumed, sweet and spicy with hints of sugar cane, ripe fruits, sherbet lemons and fudge
Taste: A sweet, luscious candy-like flavour followed by a mix of tart plummy fruit, candied orange peel, cherries, and angelica.
Finish: Long and spicy, but always with a sweetness in the background, with flavours of ginger, brown sugar, sweet tobacco and cake mix.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Cotton candy, pina coladas, and buttercream frosting with a dry herbal backbone.
Palate: Very sweet in a fruit candy kind of way with parts of saltwater taffy. Candied ginger lingers in the background.
Finish: The finish holds onto some of that sweetness but fades into a spicy cinnamon and cigar tobacco finish.
Comments: These private edition Glenmorangies are always odd beasts for me. With the exception of the Ealanta which I loved, they all have very strong points but never seem to come together in a way that appeals to me. The Milsean is no exception. The is a nice, well made dram but it just isn’t my cup of tea.
Rating: Stands Out

Loch Lomond Single Grain

Loch Lomond Single Grain Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
$30
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Single Grain is an elegant and full bodied single grain with a smoothness making this exceptionally easy to drink. A single grain scotch whisky with a distinctive background character of soft fruits and creamy vanilla with a hint of smoke and peat. Perfect anytime over ice or with a hint of water.

Nose: Fresh cut barley fields with a malty edge, biscuity with baked apples alongside gentle lemon peel.
Palate: Crisp and delicate. Pineapple juice and a lemon zestiness with a lovely vanilla sweetness at the end.
Finish: Gentle with soft fruits alongside a juicy sweetness.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Lemon zest, fresh grated ginger, and pineapple flavor Lifesavers candies.
Palate: Very sweet. All the sweetness hinted at in the nose follows through here. More citrus and candied pineapple with a peppery kick.
Finish: The spiciness kicks it up in the finish but playing around edges of fruity sweetness.
Comments: Usually, I find really sweet scotch to be off putting but with the extra kick of proof it works. This is almost a fresh fruit dessert in a glass. Traditionalists may not be the first to line up for this but old and new hands alike should give it a try. It is kind of like lemoncello, bourbon, and grain scotch had a love child.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank the Loch Lomond Group for sending us a bottle to review.

Loch Lomond Reserve

Loch Lomond Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky
40% ABV
$20
Website
loch-lomond-reserve-blended-scotch-1
What the Blender Says:
This unique premium blended scotch whisky contains both malt and grain whisky distilled and matured on the banks of Loch Lomond in the very heart of Scotland. Each barrel is selected for its character and maturity, then expertly blended to create a well-balanced whisky that delivers a perfectly smooth finish.

Nose: NEAT – Big broad malt aromas build on first impression. There is strong hint of depth, body and weight behind these early flavour notes. However there is, when looked at carefully, a very subtle light fruit, soft fruit sweetness evident just behind the bigger more developed malt notes. DILUTE – A soft, floral note appears once water is added. More the hint of early spring blossom than anything heavier and with that a subtle honeyed sweetness that develops a warming spiciness as time passes with the sense of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Palate: NEAT – An extraordinarily dark, fruity and sweet first impression. Seville Orange Marmalade on hot bread, both sweet, sharp but with a creamy maltiness. The fruit becomes fresher and more candied as the palate develops and once again there is a sweet but firm ginger quality to the mid palate. Marmalade notes give way to ginger snaps. DILUTE – The wood influences become far more evident. Now there are soft vanilla notes that then combine with emerging lighter, fresher, softer fruit flavours. More melon and apple with a light honeyed texture in the background. Honeyed, sweet, softer.

Finish: NEAT – The remarkable palate with the pronounced cooked fruits and spice slowly subsides and there is a gentle fading sweetness, a hint of floral notes on the wind. DILUTE –
Gradually the soft fruits become softer and more luscious. There is a sense of very ripe melons giving way to a light syrupy finish.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Fruity, and floral with dominant malty cereal notes.
Palate: A nice delicate sweetness. Honey and fruit infused simple syrups play with lighter floral and grassy notes. Orange blossom honey maybe?
Finish: A little fruit and ginger tang that quickly fades to a more peppery spice.
Comments: This is a blend for those who like their scotch a little more on the light and sweet side. It’s a very pleasant dram. At $20 a bottle, I think it is a solid value and stands above other like priced blends.

Also, a quick clarification about the name. The “Loch Lomond” name is used by the company for the single grain and single malt that they make at the distillery in addition to blends like this one whose components come from that malt and grain. A bit confusing so take a close look at the bottle and make sure you are getting what you think you are.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to that the Loch Lomond Group for sending us a bottle to review.

Glen Scotia Double Cask

Glen Scotia Double Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
$70
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Our Double Cask is matured in our finest oak barrels then finished in a combination of first fill bourbon barrels followed by time in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks to produce this outstanding malt whisky that provides the perfect balance of rich spicy fruits, overlaid with the characteristic sea spray and vanilla oak finish for which the house of Glen Scotia is famous.

NOSE Amber. Very sweet. Initially it is all creme caramel, caramelised fruit sugars, wood sugar, toffee and fudge before some apple and peach come through. In time a charred note of bourbon with a pleasing dusty dryness. Has some power.

PALATE Sweet start and quite fat and though the alcohol gives a little tongue-tingling buzz the result is a good mid-palate weight. The dry distillery character is there still, but there is now depth to counter. Water slightly dismantles the different elements, but adds some dried mint.

FINISH Deep and dark.

What Richard Says:
Nose: The nose is very sherry forward. It reminds me more of an Oloroso than the Pedro Ximenez that they use. Raisins, stewed fruits, and creme brulee come to mind.
Palate: There is a very nice creamy viscosity to this one. More deep sherry notes, dark fruits, and vanilla extract.
Finish: Cracked pepper, polished wood, and a nice mint note carry this out to a medium length finish.
Comments: I am a bit of a NAS-hater (no age statement whiskies). I find their proliferation displeasing and the whisky in said bottles usually disappointing and overpriced. However, every so often I get surprised. Maybe it is my low expectations or the skill of the blender. Either way, these exceptions are few and far between. While this Double Cask Glen Scotia isn’t awe inspiring, it is a very solid well made dram and I enjoy it. It definitely stands out among NAS single malts. $70 is a bit steep for the bottle though. If it was sub $50 it would be a real winner.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank the Loch Lomond Group for sending us a bottle to review.

Stolen Smoked Rum

Stolen Smoked Rum
42% ABV
$20
Website
stolen-rum
What the Bottler Says:
STOLEN is proud to introduce the World’s First Smoked Rum… the result of an artisanal approach fueled by the desire to reinvent the rum category.

We start with a column-distilled rum from Trinidad, made from locally sourced sugar cane and molasses. The rum is then aged for up to 2 years in used American oak whiskey barrels. Capturing the essence of a fresh brewed cup of joe, we infuse the rum using re-fractionated Colombian Arabica coffee, wholly distilled from same-day roasted beans. The warm, roasted flavor is complemented by the creamy sweetness and velvety texture of premium Madagascan vanilla beans and Moroccan fenugreek. The rum is rounded off with notes of American hardwood, acquired through a smoking process called pyrolysis—the burning of hardwood in the absence of oxygen.

The finished product is a smooth, medium body rum with a generous bouquet. On the palate, the deep profile of coffee, vanilla, warm caramel and dark chocolate mix with lingering notes of charred oak for a long, smooth, smoky finish.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich sweet notes of coffee, vanilla extract, milk chocolate, and a hint of campfire smoke.
Palate: Rum or coffee liqueur? This is pretty damn similar to Kahlua mixed with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Finish: The finish is a little hot and presents lots of espresso powder, cocoa powder, and charcoal grill smoke.
Comments: This is one of the more interesting things to come across the Whisk(e)y Apostle desk in recent months. However, there has been so much done to this spirit through the “pyrolysis” and “re-fractionated” infusion process that this seems like rum in name only. This would be better served as a Kahlua substitute given the highly pronounced coffee notes.
Rating: Probably Pass

We would like to thank Stolen Spirits for sending us samples to review.