Archive for the ‘Littlemill’ Category

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Littlemill 1991 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2272/ Dist: Nov 1991 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

Wow, this is the darkest aroma’d Littlemill I’ve ever encountered! Robust and very malty with hints of Bovril coated dark fruit, dark French coffee and a hint of treacle. Some lovely, light sawdusty oak appears. With time some floral honey notes emerge to counter balance all the darkness! 

The palate is like the nose, dark, malty and toffee’d with light syrup coated dried apricot followed by a light Armagnac-esque dried fruit rancio. This is a very unusual Littlemill with plenty of mature oak and spices on the middle. The finish is awash with the edgy Armagnac-like dried fruits along with a touch of old, clean, rose petal marc. Stunning stuff, with quite a toffee’d after-taste.


Berry Brothers Selection Littlemill 1992 (20 year old) 54.6%

Bourbon Cask 9/ Dist: 1992 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

Quite a fresh nose to begin with showing cut grass, apricot and summer barley. The creamy oak builds to become quite sweet and Bourbony. Hints of fennel, cinnamon juniper and savoury malt follow and with time it becomes quite floral.

The palate is quite heavy on the oak, light white chocolate with hints of grass trying to come through. The oak holds and it is pleasantly creamy. Hints of hessian, spice and bung cloth on the middle. Good length with a slight salty note on the finish.

A drop of water really flattens the nose and emphasises the hessian and bung cloth note. The palate is also flattened and less exotic with a touch of burnt caramel now. More earthy with a touch of dried tea leaf on the finish.

Berry Brothers Selection Littlemill 1988 (27 year old?) 46%

Cask 33

Tasted: Mar 2015

Nose: A beautiful nose of chunky barley and fragrant honey along with a good dollop of white peach and apricot. Effusive, creamy vanillins appear along with a subtle sawdusty note. With time it develops some fresh, grassy notes and lightly grainy spices.

Palate: Quite fresh but deeply honeyed with barley and sub-tropical fruit. Pleasantly malty on the middle with the oak showing a slight coffee’d character.

Finish: Mouth-watering and mineral finish which becomes increasingly tannic as the oak takes hold.

Conclusion: It’s an enjoyable aperitif style whisky. My only gripe is that the oak bites a little hard on the finish.

Littlemill No Age Statement 40% 5cl

Tasted: July 2012

A slightly spirity nose of marshmallows and grist along with some sweet American oak vanillins. Slightly grassy with some oxidised dried fruit. The oak becomes rather creamy and starts to dominate the nose.

The palate is very much like the nose, soft, vanilla’d and very creamy. There is a touch of grass and a slight gristiness however. A shade on the innocuous side, which is probably why this was bottled as a 5cl miniature, but a good length with some sweetness and a touch of bitterness from the oak on the finish.

Littlemill 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Jan 2013

A soft and quite grainy nose which displays a pronounced alcohol prickle. There is rather a large amount of oak and I get the impression this is a lot older than 12 years. (Upon doing some research it’s closer to 19). Slightly toasty with those big vanillins becoming quite toffee’d. Maybe there’s a touch of grass but it’s hard to see through all the oak.

The palate is toasty oak city – toffee and caramel by the bucketful. There’s no real spirit character left as it’s spent far too long in wood.

Littlemill 25 year old – Private Cellar Edition 2015 50.4%

Initially matured in 10 American and European oak casks before being married and finished in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks.

Tasted: Mar 2016

Nose: Gritty Oloroso sherry with prune, walnut, raisin and dusty spice. I can sense a little rose petal spirit note beneath but the clean sherry is the overriding character.

Palate: All sherry cask, like the nose. Molasses, prune, cinnamon and walnut. A little irony on the middle and the combination of tannins and alcohol make it quite dry.

Finish: Long and sherried with the alcohol making it quite mouth-watering. Finished with a dry, spicy flourish.

Conclusion: I’ve never been a fan of ageing Lowland whisky in first fill Oloroso as it totally obscures any distillery character. On the plus side it’s spotlessly clean sherry.


Douglas Laing Directors Cut Littlemill 1988 (25 year old) 56.2%

Bourbon/ Code: DIR0087/ Dist: Nov 1988 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A superb nose of sparkling lemon and elderflower with taught, lightly herbal honey and a touch of pollen. Some lightly oxidised apricot, juicy date, dried grape, creamy vanilla and dried grass comes through along with some ‘toshan like boiled sweet notes. This is a very complex and evolving nose. With time it becomes quite malty and bready with a touch of under-ripened banana, clove, cinnamon emerging, but all the time that bracing, fresh lemon note lingers.

The palate opens with herbal honey, mature citrus, barley and clarified butter oak notes. Some deft sweet spice notes are interwoven. Lightly creamy on the middle with hints of malt and dried grass along with some oxidation character and a little dark grain note. Seriously intriguing and amazingly long with a lovely, thick and spicy finish showing a touch of dark/ milk chocolate, clove, boiled sweets and rose water notes.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Littlemill 1991 (20 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2093/ Dist: Nov 1991 Btl: Dec 2011/ Tasted: Dec 2011

A very fresh and fern like nose with some beautifully sweet barley and crisp honey. I’m amazed at how fresh the nose is after all this time in the cask. With time it becomes beautifully fragrant.

The palate is softy and gentle. Less fresh than the nose but displaying more earthy spices. The oak really starts to grip early on though and although there are some fern/ bracken and citrus notes the overwhelming flavours come from the oak – butter, caramel, toast. It finishes rather short and hot as well. It’s a shame but not unexpected that oak has unbalanced this as the nose was lovely.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Littlemill 1991 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2238/ Dist: Nov 1991 Btl: Feb 2013/ Tasted: Mar 2013

A lovely fresh and grassy nose with some slightly gristy, sweet/ honeyed barley along with hints of dusty wood spices, bark and some gentle, sweet oak.

The palate is quite full and honeyed with light white fruit, mature toffee’d oak and some lovely granity citrus notes. Slightly woody with a malty-baked fruit finish but with plenty of fresh citrus and light sugar notes. A delightfully mature Lowland.

Speyside Distillery Scott’s Selection Littlemill 1984 (20 year old) 55%

Dist 1984 Btl: 2004/ Tasted: Nov 2004

Clean, slightly oily nose of cereal, malt, creamy vanilla oak, orange and peach. Quite estery with a brief suggestion of perfume. Rounded and smooth with a hint of grass and earth.

Dry on the palate, light in body, initially earthy which opens up to display a depth of delicate orange, citrus and peach, along with balancing creamy oak and a touch of spice on the finish. Surprisingly youthful for its age.

Speyside Distillery Scott’s Selection Littlemill 1990 (17 year old) 57%

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: Sept 2008

A classic nose of crisp, fresh grassy aromas, enhanced by delicate apricot and piquant mandarin. Almost perfection with late buttery oak and dried grass notes. Definitely the best nose so far. Water emphasises the grass and vanilla.

The palate is crisp and a bit light. It develops some marc like rose petal notes over time. Seems a lot younger. Water makes no difference. The finish is alcohol dominated with the rose petal and some Turkish delight. With water it become thin like the palate, with a suggestion of spice? Lovely nose but let down by the palate. Reminds me a bit of Penderyn.

Murray McDavid Littlemill 1991 (16 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist; 1991 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: May 2007

Sometimes there is a lot to be said for taking a good whisky and just leaving it to mature in good quality Bourbon casks and this is definitely one of those instances. It is crisp and clean on the nose, very grassy with straw, apricot, toffee, earth and banana aromas. Slightly oily and delicate but with a lovely depth to it.

On the palate it is quite oily with apricot, toffee and vanilla which opens into quite a creamy middle with a slight nuttiness. Lovely length with its grassy character lasting right through to the finish where it finishes with a flourish of soft spice.

Cadenheads Authentic Collection Littlemill 1991 (17 year old) 60.1%

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Sept 2008

Another classic nose. Very crisp and grassy. Intense and alcoholic with late vanilla, butter and toffee notes. Water tames it and brings out an earthy, rose petal note which gives it some pleasant complexity.

The palate is intense and very woody. Powerfully alcoholic, but there is some grass, rose petals and piquant spice. Water softens, emphasising the grassy notes and bringing out a lovely suggestion of toffee. Short and alcoholic. Water lengthens and makes it a bit oily. Its ok. An average Lowland, crisp but lacks the fruit of the better bottlings.