Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Steve Rush, author of the blog The Whisky Wire , often runs social media events about whisky. This is usually taking place on twitter with twitter tastings. A lot of interesting and unusual whiskies are being presented at these tastings. I wish I had the opportunity to participate more, but I don't like to sign up for events I don't know if I am able to attend or not. You are provided with whisky to taste and commentate on, so I think there is a bit of responsibility to participate if you do sign up. I have participated once or twice over the years, not much. It's always fun, and also very confusing when twitter goes bonanza with tasting notes and comments rolls in from quite a big group of whisky entusiasts.

I signed up for this Littlemill event. This is not a pure twitter event, but a Flash Blog event. I think it means a group of bloggers (and maybe also non bloggers) all are going to add their opinion about this one whisky. On the internet. On the same day.

Photo from Loch Lomond Group website

This is an OB Littlemill. The price is very high. Around 2000£. Very expensive and this is how it goes with closed distilleries. When there is few casks left, the price rockets. There has been plenty of various Littlemill's to pick up at a fraction of this price the last many years, but if you miss the train, you miss the train.

Today Littlemill is "owned" by Loch Lomond Group. There is no distillery to be owned actually. The distilllery went silent in 1994 and burned in 2004. Loch Lomond group owns some casks and the right to bottle them as official bottlings.

You can read a bit about Littlemill on Loch Lomond Group's website

Littlemill was a Lowland distillery. If you want to know where it was located you can check out this google map I made. Just look a bit northwest of Glasgow, just a little further out than Auchentoshan on the way up to Loch Lomond along the A82

This new 25yo Littemill comes with a nice little pamphlet. I like that pamphlet. It has a bit of info, that the SWA rules say you can't put on the bottle. It is a good reading for the geeks amongst the whiskyentusiasts. Actually it's a good read for everybody. It more or less got the full provenance of this whisky specified. Let me quote:

"Our two master blenders John Petersen and Michael Henry have dipped and nosed the remaining casks of 1989 and 1990 in our warehouse. 
 From these they have selected 10 which they believed best represent the quality and style of whisky from the Littlemill distillery. 
 These 10 casks have been married together to deliver this exceptional 25 year old lowland single malt whisky. 
 The 1989 liquid went into the cask on 17th December 1989 at 68.5 degrees and the 1990 was casked between 1st & 4th April 1990 at between 68.6 and 68.7 degrees. 
 The liquid was originally laid down in a mixture of the finest American and European Oak casks and for this 1st bottling it has been married together and has experienced a period of finishing in 1st. fill European Olorose Sherry casks."

Before I go on with opinion of this whisky, I will say that I am not the worlds biggest Littlemill fan. It's usually a very herbal whisky, so herbal it is unique. A lot of whisky claims to be unique (I hate that word), but Littlemill actually is. Both in a good and in a bad way. Depends if you like it I say :-). But sometimes Littlemill is just too herbal for me

Littlemill 25yo 2015 50.4%

Nose: The nose is quite archetypical for something that has been finished in a sherry cask. The nose is also quite delicate but still with adequate punch

Palate: The texture is a bit oily/rubbery, but behind this there is what I would describe as a typical light lowland style whisky. This is more lowland than Littlemill, if you can follow me! There is a tiny hint of the typical Littlemill herbal thing, but I wonder if I would have picked this up blind

Finish: A bit on the short side. The age suddenly emerges with woodyness, and I get  hint of gin! It all falls into a nice sweet nutty ending

This whisky benefits spending some time in the glass

One of the better Littlemill I have tasted. It's a bit more anonymous and delicate than most other I have tasted. By that I mean smoother and less herbal. It's an OK whisky but I never felt the urge to pour some more

Score 84

Thanks to Loch Lomond group and Steve Rush for the sample

Now when we are at it. A very good friend of mine is a Littlemill collector. His name is Menno, you might have heard of him or his whiskyshop and website whiskybase
He told me himself he has the worlds biggest collection of Littlemill. He also said that was because he was the only one collecting Littlemill. But that's not true. He told me himself that there is another Littlemill collector in Belgium. When I was at Feis Ile he was on the island for just one day, but he took the time to come visit us in our cottage (which was a church) and gave me a sample, a really big sample of 20cl Littlemill. I can't remember if he said it was the best Littlemill ever bottled or one of the best Littlemill ever bottled. Menno is a true Littlemill fan. He says when he thinks a Littlemill is good and he says when he thinks a Littlemill is bad. He is not a fanboi that just thinks everything from Littlemill is fantastic. He scored the 25yo a big 91 by the way. I will add his notes HERE when I get a link to it. But anyway, he gave me a big sample of this:

Photo from Whiskybase

Littlemill 1989 24yo Whisky Doris 51.7%

So how is this compared to the OB?

This whisky is actually quite similar to the OB, but without the sherry part. So it's not that oily, and doesn't have the slight rubber texture. It got a little bit more burn, as the edges haven't been shaved off. It got a lot more of the nuttyness

It is delicate, mature and fruity. I have come across some whiskies that has gone all the way to some bubblegum fruityness and this whisky is like it's about to go down the same lane,

Nose: Ex bourbon. A nice and delicate 

Palate: Not much exciting goes on, initially quite ordinary, but then things starts to happen

Finish: Medium-long and very nice. No matter if a finish is described as short, medium or long, some tastes always linger for long and the long finish on this, albeit not very powerfull is very nice. I have to say I really love the finish of this whisky. This is where this whisky emerge as a little fruit explosion. A mix of banana, mango and pear, but not particular sweet

This whisky also benefits from some time in the glass

Score 89

Thanks to Menno for the SAMPLE

While the latter might be the best Littlemill I have ever tasted, both whiskies in this post are among the best Littlemills I have ever tasted. It is no secret that I prefer ex-bourbon whisky to ex-sherry and my verdict on these two drams is not a surprise for most people who knows me

I will add links to other flash bloggers below as soon as I get them

Friends of Single Malts (in german) 
Whisky with Friends (in dutch)
Whisky Girl (8.5/10)
Whisky Wednesday (video, 8.5/10)
Edgylassie (instagram)
Alasdair Day (R&B Distillers)
La Cave de Cobalt (in french)
Le Blog Wallon sur le Single Malt (in french, 89/100)