Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Expression: 25 Year old - Private Cellar Edition
I have been lucky to have been selected to taste a very special wee whisky, a 25 year old Littlemill - Private Cellar Edition for the #Littlemill "tweet storm" (Is what the bairns are calling it these days). This is the second only Littlemill I have ever tasted, the other time being a dram of a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling about two years ago.
Nose: The first thing that hits me is the oak, but not particularly in an over aggressive young "wood technology" way of a lot of modern designer casks. It reminds me of maybe freshly polished Mahogany in a writers study, or a gentleman's club. (I am not sure what the gender-less phrase would be for this, sorry). The club has cigar smoke in the air, and glasses of rum being sipped from chesterfield chairs.Black treacle, dairy fudge, and good old Caramac bars bringing through that sugary sweetness which is going back and forward between the sherry and the wood. There are some sugar coated fennel seeds which give it a touch of aniseed as well. I'm getting engine oil and diesel fumes and a bit of terpene phenolics which give it another dimension and just for a few moments it almost gets carbolic. There is Cointreau orange liqueur, and the syrup nose turns into Barr's Red Cola a firm childhood favourite drink of mine. Cocoa, Terry's chocolate orange. The fruit here is sherry dominated rather than spirit led with mostly raspberry and blackberries, but the lighter estery notes are not completely lost and are more just sitting a few rows behind. A touch of pineapple and grapegruit. Even though this is for many purposes a fairly heavy dram, there is still a prominent light floral layer which is dusty, sooty and a little chalky / mineral in style of other contemporary Lowlanders like Rosebank and Linlithgow.
Palate: It feels more powerful than the 50.4% ABV is saying, and the viscosity of the spirit is carrying the alcohol well and keeping it suspended. Fairly cloying, the oak is drying a little and we have really dark chocolate, pecan nuts, walnuts continuing the dry thing, cigars and some toasted oak. It feels like at times the wood char is maybe becoming a little overpowering but if you don't mind this sort of bitterness like me you'll not find it too much of a challenge. Dark roasted espresso beans.
Finish: The orange liqueur again, chocolate, toffee, soot. That pine is back again and I like it very much. Plenty of jammy berries as well.
This is very good, and if I was to give it a numerical grading (for the purposes of the tweet event) I would say it is a 92. However the price of this is just way too much for me (about £2000), but I hazard that I am not the target market anyway. I would definitely purchase a bottle and drink it if it was cheaper and I have certainly had plenty of aged rare drams a lot cheaper, but the price and the addition of a miniature with the general release means it is even less likely the main bottles will be opened up for enjoyment.
Thank you to the Loch Lomond Group, and Steve @ Whisky Wire for the miniature and it was a pleasure to get to taste another Littlemill.