Be Glenmorangie's 17th Man of Tain!

5 Comments on 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 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


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.


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’).

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisky News


bgulien says:

I think it’s their, LVMH, target group.
Here in Amsterdam, we have every year the Millionaires Fair, and there they belong.
People who spend 6m pounds and think nothing of it. Bit of fun, really.
Poor Bill Lumsden who has to play the part and entertain the guy. Hopefully it’s someone with “old” money. They are better digestible then the “new” money guys.
Or worse, some Russian gangster. Woudn’t it be fun when the guy plonks 6 million and is refused a visa for the US, to cut some trees.
Seriously, what can you buy if you whisky budget is 6m? I can tick every box on your poll.
Maybe a marketing trick. People are talking about it. That’s what every marketeer wants.

Ah well, I feel like pouring a dram of my most expensive whisky to get in the mood 😉

Angus says:

If I had 6 million quid I’d sooner build my own wee distillery and make my own stuff that way or just go on a vast shopping spree in Sukhinder’s warehouse. Or just, you know, do something with it that would leave me a shred of a conscience. There was a lot of quibbling about Ardbeg and Glenmorangie and the influence of Moet Hennessey in the last topic. I think its very important to remember that Moet Hennessey is a very separate entity from the two distilleries and their people. I think MHs influence is seeping through into the bottlings more and more these days and this new ’17th man of Tain’ thing is another very MH thing. They cater to the premium end of the market and they have been pushing Ardbeg and Glenmorangie into this area where I don’t think they really belong. As far as their quality as drinks go they are spirits that, when at their best, have few that could fill their boots. However they are drinks for everyone, whisky itself is a drink that traditionally belongs to the working people that make it. Now while I recognise that money has to made in this industry Ardbeg won hearts because it was a great whisky wrapped up in a sense of humor. Glenmorangie has been one of the most popular malts for years, and rightly so. When I go back to Ardbeg these days I can feel a change since I worked there in 05 and 06. For me the extra financial muscle that MH can flex is great but they are in danger of dragging the character of these great spirits out of all recognition. The bottlings are still on the whole quite good I think, if tending toward a little overpriced in some cases. The most important thing is that the quality never waivers. I think with regards the current topic its a great and wonderful opportunity for someone. Sadly it will be wasted on whoever buys it. Its another 62yo Dalmore drunk in a bar situation, can you truly appreciate something so unique and wonderful if all you have to do is dip into your very deep pocket without even making a dent. I think the deepest passion for whisky is born out of the true realization of just how rare and special those unique experiences, people and drams are. This is another of MH’s daft ventures aimed at their obscenely wealthy customers.

Pär Caldenby says:

Angus, I tend to concur with what you are stating. This kind of a thing is just wacky and is concocted either solely to be a marketing stunt (successful for the brand…??) or in order to rob some money off of some new-money-guy that can’t do anything worthwhile with it anyway (in that case, to be applauded).

I’d be willing to do the same thing for half the price, and tossing in “taking part in building the distillery in the first place” while I’m at it. The money would sure be enough for that, so distorted is the balance between price and what you get, never mind that it is unique.

I believe that both Ardbeg and Glenmorangie make some great whisky (though in an increasing number of cases more or less overpriced, although good). But they seem to be attracting the wrong decision-makers on some issues…

butephoto says:

I’ll take two!

Geert Bero says:

6 million $ for 20 barrels!!!!!

What did they pay for Ardbeg at the time!!!!!!
For a distillery and the stock in the warehouses,they are taking the mickey out of it here.

Remember the banks were to greedy,look where they ended up,we are paying(the taxpayer)the wages of the staff for the moment.

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