Tag Archive: 19 Year

Connoisseurs Choice: Littlemill 1991 (Scottish Lowland Single Malt Whisky: 19 Years: 43% ABV)

Visual: Slightly banana hued gold.

Viscosity: Medium quite thick streaks.

Nose: Planed wood. Banana skin and vanilla. Toffee. Slight alcohol air. Lime. Grain fields. Cream. Dry roasted peanuts.

Body: Wood. Chestnut honey. Light custard slice influence. Nutmeg. Chestnuts. With water becomes more nutty and even more water brings out malt loaf.

Finish: Honey. Perfume that has been breathed in. Light oak. Roasted nuts. Milk chocolate. Light alcohol burn. The nuts really last. More water adds raisins.

Conclusion: So, another closed distilleries spirit hunted down and sampled. This one is a very light whisky, as is oft expected from the lowlands. What isn’t as expected is the flavour being predominantly dedicated to exploration of rounded nuttiness. It seems like a smooth lowland take on the Strathisla spirits. In fact the nuttiness last impressively on the finish. For such a light whisky it manages to hold the flavour for an age after you have finished sipping.

It is a whisky that works better on larger mouthfuls than smaller, and enjoys just a drop or two of water to get it set right. Taken like that the sweetness and nuttiness seem to have much more room to grow.

Not the most complex whisky, but it does have a few notes of chocolate and lime to round it out. Overall very easy to drink, and while straightforward in style it is very much a whisky that knows what impression it wants to give and delivers it well. In its ideal few drops of water state the flavour just floats through the air of your mouth perfectly.

A dead distillery that will be missed on the basis of this whisky.

Background: Bottled 2010 and aged in refill bourbon casks.  Littlemill is a closed distillery. I had seen this at the Rummer Hotel a while back and kept meaning to give it a try as it’s a new distillery on me. It was a friend’s birthday recently and we decided to enjoy some whisky there; it seemed a perfect time to give it a try. Connoisseurs choice has always been a hit with me for bringing good priced bottles of rare and closed distilleries to the market which gives me a chance to try a lot of distilleries that would otherwise pass me by.

Signatory Vintage: Linkwood: 1991 (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 19 years: 43% ABV)

Visual: Very pale grain.

Viscosity: A mix of thick and middling thickness streaks. Also odd mix of slothful and quick streaks.  Can’t really get a firm reading of the spirit from it.

Nose: Planed wood. Sugar dusting. Raisins and slightly plumy. Quite potent and rich with obvious spirit air, marzipan. Water lightens out allowing much more of the marzipan out and much less of the spirit.

Body: Custard sweet and significant alcohol burn behind it. Slight charring. Water makes slightly almond like. Water makes much sweeter with a golden syrup touch.

Finish: Light charring. Nutty. Quiet spirit style still. Slight malt chocolate, or perhaps chocolate almonds.  Clusters cereal.

Conclusion: Quite the intriguing aroma. Some of my companions described it as almost like meths. I wouldn’t quiet say that myself, but it is potent, requiring water to smooth it out.  Brings with it a lovely raisin, plum and nut aroma with the strength though.

The main body is very clean by comparison, not quiet paying off the promise of the aroma. Mainly a light nuttiness comes through. It works better with water which gives a nice sweetness and really lets the nuttiness take to the floor.

So without the water this is tad too much spirit, with water it feels somewhat like a less forceful Strathisla with it’s emphasise on the nuttiness.

Not too complex, but nice. Especially when you can get the burn down. For the years it has on it you would expects something tad smoother and more complex though.  So nice enough with water, but I can’t really see a reason to pick it over a good Strathisla.

Background: Drunk with friends at the tasting room.  Quite the range of whiskies were ordered resulting in the poor staff having to take down about half the bottles from the shelf.  I’ve never tried Linkwood before, so it was good to experiment.  I do like the range of bottles Signatory Vintage brings, though I will admit in my heart I probably prefer the Connoisseurs Choice range. Still it’s good to have the choice to pick from

Wemyss Malts: Dalmore 1990 Tropical Spice (Scottish Single Cask Single Malt Highland Whisky: 19 Year: 59.4% ABV)

Visual: Very deep amber bronze.

Viscosity: Initial omnipresent puckering followed a procession of very slow streaks.

Nose: Raisin, turmeric, wood shavings, quite floral. Cinnamon and eraser dust. Water reveals honeycomb and sherried fruits.

Body: Smooth, very smooth. raisins, charring and chocolate Water makes raisin much more obvious and makes the alcohol much more manageable. Also brings out a touch of rum spice and terrys chocolate orange.

Finish: Bitter chocolate, dry dust and toffee. Water turns it to more malt chocolate and spiced blood oranges, though oddly the tongue numbing alcohol is still present.

Conclusion: A fantastic drink that is reliant on just the right sprinkling of water to make it find its peak.

Taken straight, this is forceful, almost sense numbing, but with powerful spice and spirit. If really finds its mark though with a teaspoon of water. This brings out all the fantastic orange, rum and spice and lets them play. Powerful, exotic and yet playful – everything is on show and oh so alluring.

A touch more water and the, yet still tasty, drink is loosing the edge of flavour, but none of the fire.

It’s a fine bottling for experimenting with, like a work of art hidden in a maze – it takes time to investigate and reach its brilliant core.

Not one for a quick dram though, its too unlikely to reach that fine point of satisfaction.

A whisky of delayed pleasure.

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