Be Glenmorangie’s 17th Man of Tain!

Hello everyone, and first of all can I say a big Thank You for all your contributions to last week’s Supernova / Octomore post, which has provoked a fascinating exchange of views in the comments section.

Now, this next item is not exactly new, but has only just come to our attention via the peerless Serge over at the equally peerless Whiskyfun.com and is simply too good for us to pass up (I hope that this is ok with Serge, especially as Whiskyfun has no comments section!). 

It would seem that the repositioning of Glenmorangie by Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy has just been ramped up by several hundred notches (deep-discounting in supermarkets notwithstanding), if this offer from The Robb Report (a website/blog devoted to rich men’s playthings) from December is anything to go by:

“Ultimate Gifts: 17th Man of Tain

THE GIFT

Create your own single-malt whisky at the Glenmorangie distillery
in Tain, Scotland.

Source trees for cask making in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains
with Glenmorangie’s master distiller.

Visit a Kentucky cooperage to learn about cask making.

Twenty specially selected barrels in which to age your distillate,
along with cellar space at the Glenmorangie distillery for your barrels
for up to 25 years.

Accommodations at the Glenmorangie House in the countryside of
Tain once a year for 25 years during the whisky-making project.

As many as five versions of your single-malt whisky, bottled at
various stages in the next 25 years.

Private jet travel for you and three guests to the initial destinations
related to this gift.

[Price] $6 million

The recipient of this gift will learn not only about wood, but also about all other aspects of whisky making. First, the recipient and three guests will accompany [Dr. Bill] Lumsden and a forester on a one-day trip to the Ozarks to source trees for Glenmorangie. From there, the group will travel to the Blue Grass Cooperage in Louisville, Ky., for two days to watch as the wood is cut into staves and set outdoors to season for two years. The coopers will also demonstrate for the group how casks are constructed and charred.

On a separate four-day trip, the party will meet Lumsden at the Glenmorangie distillery in  Tain to spend two and a half days checking the quality of barley, fermenting the mash, and, finally, distilling the recipient’s personal whisky. On the final day, the recipient—with the help of a few of the famed 16 Men of  Tain (the workers traditionally maintained at Glenmorangie)—will transfer the fresh distillate into 20 specially selected barrels, each of which will be branded with the recipient’s family name and warehoused for up to 25 years.

Throughout the aging process, the recipient and a guest will have annual opportunities to stay at the Glenmorangie House and, while there, stop by the distillery to sample the custom whisky as its flavors gradually evolve with exposure to the wood.  The first bottling will take place in 2019, when the spirit is 10 years old; the remaining four bottlings will be scheduled by the buyer and cellar master at appropriate intervals through the year 2034.

“I want the recipient of this gift to have ownership of the spirit all the way through,” says Lumsden.  ”I envision this person donning a pair of overalls and working side-by-side with me and the distillery’s other craftsmen.” All of this hard work will be rewarded on two separate evenings at the Glenmorangie House, where Lumsden will treat the recipient—the distillery’s honorary 17th Man (or Woman) of  Tain—to fireside dinners and private tastings of Glenmorangie’s whiskies, including some drawn from unusual and rare barrels.

The gift is limited to one buyer and must be purchased by January 15, 2009

• The gift includes air travel for the first visit to Tain, Scotland, but subsequent trips to Tain are not covered.”

Now, I’m aware that I’ve done a few posts about LVMH / Glenmorangie / Ardbeg recently (not all of them entirely complimentary), and I don’t want them to think either that I don’t like them (because I really do), or that I’ve got an axe to grind (because I really don’t).  So I’m just going to open the floor on this one:  What do you guys think of this extraordinary offer?  Do you reckon anyone actually bought it??  Who is the 17th Person of Tain???  I know we have quite a lot of readers here on the site: Don’t be shy – give us your thoughts.

Cheers,

Tim F

ps Many thanks to all of you who voted in the poll, which has now received over 100 votes – and almost a quarter of you have splurged £150-£250 on a whisky for drinking!  It was also heartening to see that almost exactly two-thirds of the voters had broken £100 at least once.  Good effort, everyone – I’m delighted we’ve got some unabashed hedonists.  Pour yourselves a splash of something decadent and take part in my new poll – What’s your monthly whisky budget?  Multiple answers are allowed this time (up to three), so you can choose a value and a comment (eg £150+ and ‘More than I’m telling the wife’).

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