Tasting Glenmorangie Milsean whisky with its creator

Alison Morris tasted some Glenmorangie Milsean whisky with the distillery's director of distilling.

- He is responsible for the liquid in the bottle, so he always tells people that if they don't like Glenmorangie whisky, it's his fault. Dr. Bill Lumsden is the director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks for the Moet & Hennessy-owned brand and he just may have the best job on earth.

Dr. Bill is an actual scientist. His laboratory is Glenmorangie's distillery in Scotland. So what is his job like exactly? And is there a typical day? Dr. Bill says thankfully there isn't because he gets bored very easily. His main job is twofold, he says. First, to maintain or improve the quality of the current range and second (the most fun part for him), coming up with new expressions and developing new whiskies.

Dr. Bill just came up with a new whisky, the seventh in the brand's private edition range, called Milsean. As he opens a bottle and pours two glasses, Dr. Bill explains to me that Milsean is a Scottish Gaelic word that means "sweet things." Milsean has a natural caramel color and a distinctly sweet flavor. It's created by aging 10-year-old original Glenmorangie for another 2.5 years in Portuguese wine barrels that were re-toasted while they were still dripping with red wine inside. Dr. Bill says after just six months in the barrels, the whisky already starts to give a vision of candy sweetness.

To properly taste the Milsean, he advises starting with a small sip so that your palette can get used to it. Next, he suggests taking a slightly larger sip and really focusing on the texture and flavor of the whisky.

Dr. Bill says Milsean has a bit of cherry, a bit of angelica, zesty fizzing lemon sherbet, a bit of candied orange peel, lots of fruits like peach or nectarine, and then in the aftertaste something a bit more oaky.

I certainly picked up the sweet flavor but could never describe it in Dr. Bill's terms. That comes from over 30 years of tasting experience.

So does Dr. Bill taste whisky every single day? Most days, absolutely, though he says he'll usually limit it to runs of 20 samples at a time.

He says he prefers tastings in the mornings because that's when his palette is most fresh. Sound like a lot a little too early in the day? Keep in mind, that in the laboratory, Dr. Bill tastes but doesn't actually swallow the whisky. It's a tough job, he says smiling, but someone has to do it.

Glenmorangie Milsean is currently available, but it won't be for long. Dr. Bill says the brand released about 60,000 bottles globally, and he expects it will be sold out well before next year's private edition is released.

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