Littlemill 22 y.o. Archives, 1989, refill Sherry Hogshead, 48,3%
Comment: I have heard great things about this bottling – and it is exciting to try rare whisky from this closed Lowland distillery, one of the oldest in Scotland, by the way (established 1772). However, there were great variations in quality and I had terribly soapy Littlemills but also quite decent ones. Menno Bijmolt from whiskybase.com has unearthed this inaugural bottling for their brandnew Archive series. Let the spirit talk:
I am getting a nice and clear Sherry-influence and sweet maltiness right away, accompanied by a white pepper and ginger spiciness. Morello cherries, dried peaches, raisins. apple crumble, shortbread, marshmallows, Italian almond sweets, moss, pine needle, rose petals, blackcurrant and a pleasant oakiness also come into focus, like some fruit oils. Quite unusual in a good way! The fruity and oily taste is wonderful, somehow tropical at moments. It even increases in terms of complexity: hello berries and cassis, you come late, but I love you anyway. Good oak influence, medium finish with a rummy vanilla-fudge note. I love its unique character and also enjoy this profile a lot. An amazing choice, Menno!
Glen Ord 09.03.1999 – 10.2011 Malts of Scotland, Bourbon Hogshead 110013, 54,4%
It takes off spicy and fresh and remains closed for two minutes. Then apple, dried fruits (apricots and grapefruit, mainly), cereal bar, eucalypt, ginger, beeswax and spicy wood notes emerge, but it still holds back. Give it its time. After some minutes it offers pine resin and Mediterranean herbs. The taste also evolves step by step and is more openly accessible. A mix of malt, apple, oak, honey, vanilla, toffee, pineapple, maple syrup, cereal bar, resin, nutmeg and quite some cumin. Water really changes the dram (more vanilla, fudge and fruit) – it is like an experimenting kit – hard work but fun. Use this in a tasting to show the diluting effect in whisky. The finish is long and dominant. One for the second look.