Archive for the ‘Holland’ Category

Glen Talloch Old & Rare Blended Scotch Whisky40%

Features Balblair, Knockdhu & Speyburn and as far as i’m aware no dutch whisky!

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Youthful, phenolic and briny with menthol, bog myrtle and lightly earthy peat. Hints of manure, fresh citrus, coffee, liquorice and light tar emerge.

Palate: Quite young and slightly gristy with oily ‘off the still’ notes. Completely different to the nose.

Finish: Some light peat comes through but the youthful spirit notes linger.

Conclusion: It could have done with more mature spirit, but I imagine it was blended to a ‘price’


Zuidam Tasting Notes

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Holland, World Whiskies & Spirits

Millstone Dutch Single Rye (Whisky Exchange Exclusive) 58.6%

Tasted; Mar 2015

Nose: Pleasantly complex aromas of treacle toffee coated apple, prune, walnut, hazelnut and citrus. There appears to an almost corn-like note as well as a developing chlorinated rye-like note as well. Very clean and lightly herbal with a touch of violets and camphor.

Palate: Opens with dates in syrup followed by some really chewy wood tannins and herbal accented spices. Hints of walnuts, prunes and that camphor and herbal rye-like character comes through on the middle. A drop of water sweetens the oak.

Finish: Good length. Very herbal and dry with herbal notes lingering. Dilution makes it a little longer and sweeter.

Conclusion: Now that’s an impressive oak monster. It comes across as a high rye content American whiskey but I don’t think it is.

Zuidam Dutch Rye 5 year old 40%

Cask 546-619

A gentle, extremely oily nose with beeswax coated rye grains and relatively subtle pure vanilla oak. Over time the violet and lilac notes appear as does a touch of stem ginger and light coffee spices. Very restrained and showing a lovely purity. It’s interesting to note that it has none of the earthy/ dunnagey character of American Rye.

Soft and subtle on the palate, opening with floral violet tinged caramel-vanilla oak. The gingery rye slowly builds on the middle to become generous and mouth filling. Harmonious and soft, the rye and oak are in perfect sync. Finally the oak bitters out the finish leaving hints of coffee and liquorice, botanicals and a smidge of youthful cereal/ grist in the after taste.

A lovely dram, but it would have been interesting to see it bottled at 46%, but I think if it was bottled at cask strength, the combination of the alcohol and oak would have dried the palate out too much, but a soupcon more alcohol would have added more bite. Promising.

Zuidam Dutch Rye 5 year old 40%

Bourbon Cask 624-685/ Dist: Jan 2005 Btl: Sept 2010/ Tasted: Mar 2013

A very, very grainy and spicy rye nose tempered by some lovely sweet oak, overflowing with soft, lightly toffeed vanillins. Quite complex with hints of liquorice, a slight soapy orange note along with a soft, light earthiness.

The palate is a little watery and would have probably benefited from being bottles at 46% but some crisp rye intrudes and gives a very warming cayenne pepper spiced middle. Soft American oak gives a pleasant background along with a slight caramel nuance. Quite a dry finish with a little bittering from the oak.

Millstone ‘100 Rye’ (5 year old) 50%

Tasted: Jan 2014/ Dist: Jan 2006 Btl Mar 2013

Best European Rye

Nose: Quite sweet and perfumed with plenty of oak, followed by some pungent, youthful, dark rye spice. A lovely vibrancy with late oily orange and toffee coated biscuit notes.

Palate: Soft and toffee’d – Where’s the rye? It’s all toffeed corn and no trousers! A little, light, earthy rye spice appears on the middle and attempts to build, but it’s nowhere near as complex as the nose.

Finish: Medium length with the youthful rye showing in the finish.

Conclusion: A lovely nose, but the palate is a bit of a let down.

Millstone ‘100 Rye’ 50%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2015

Nose: The sweet, soft vanilla oak overlays the softly spiced rye. Hints of menthol, mint and a light salinity appear. Some lovely, juicy orange fruit offsets the developing edgy spices.

Palate: Soft and quite heavily oaked with the gentle rye spice being a little blanketed but hints of mint and menthol appear and eventually the rye spices arrive to give some tongue tingling intensity.

Finish: Long and very spicy with hints of marc and mocha, which probably gives a clue to it’s age.

Conclusion: Soft and oaky but very generously endowed. Quite young and feisty too.

Millstone 100 Rye 50%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Sweet and so juicy with treacle and beautifully soft rye spice. With time it becomes earthier and the fruit really emerges – plum, raspberry and date. Beneath the herbal rye lurks!

Palate: Intense and showing a lot more herbal rye character. A little astringent but the treacle takes the edge off. Finally some dried, sherry-like fruit comes through, but wow! That’s herbal.

Finish: Er, herbal rye heaven! Drying, intense and slightly spicy. What a length!

Conclusion: That’s a herbal rye monster!


Millstone 5 year old Single Malt 40%

Aged for 2 years in new oak before being racked into older casks.

Tasted: Feb 2010

Soft and strongly aromatic nose of stewed, sweet pears and oily banana skins with pineapple, hints of cereal and the sweet vanilla oak. The oak is not as dominant as you might imagine and it moves into a deep malty territory as bready/ spicy notes duly arrive. It has me very much in mind of an Irish malt.

The palate is lightly oily, kicking off with cooked, sweet pineapple and banana with a sprinkling of nutmeg. There is an almost rye like bite on the middle and it is all set against the lovely, clean vanilla oak. Good bitter/ sweet balance as the oak bitters out the finish leaving a touch of a tannic after taste. I must say I like the flow of this, it starts with an appealing sweetness but the bitterness from the wood never lets it become cloying or flabby.

Millstone 5 year old Peated 40%

Bourbon Cask 570-571/ Dist: Feb 2005 Btl: Sept 2010/ Tasted: June 2013

A soft, yet intense, almost rye like nose. Spicy with a light, vegetal-peat character, subtle-ish American oak and a touch of violets. With time the aromas become quite fat and corn like and the oak becomes increasingly buttery with a real spicy bite! A really interesting nose.

The palate ios soft an lightly carameled/ toffee’d with hints of flambéed under ripe banana and some edgy, earthy, rye like notes. Slightly grainy in character with some vegetal-peat coming through. I was thinking that bottling it at 40% might affect the intensity, but it has a soft and gentle intensity of flavours. Quite full bodied with a lovely, malty sweetness throughout, which does balance the slight bitterness from the oak at the finish. Good length with some lovely sweet smoke and a little bitter chocolaty wood tannins on the finish.

On the label it says ‘Pot Still’ Whisky and I wonder whether it means just distilled in a pot still or whether they are indicating that the have used an Irish-like ‘Pot Still’ mash of both malted and unmated cereal? Because there is a distinct grainy spiciness happening here!

Millstone 8 year old ‘American Oak’ 43%

First Fill American oak Cask 911/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Feb 2011

Initially quite high toned with a serious hit of pure and complex new American oak aromas – This is an object lesion in the aromas that oak imparts to a spirit, such as lactones (oaky/ coconut), phenolic aldehydes (vanillins), lignin (pure vanilla pod), carbohydrate decomposition products such as fufurals (almond and caramel). The oak however is not the over riding theme as there are some under ripe banana and fleshy sub-tropical fruit along with an edgy, almost rye like note which imparts a crispness to the aromas and balances the oak. With time some lovely perfumed orange and spice.

The palate opens with the pure vanilla, almonds, sweet vanilla and delicate butter notes, the vanilla builds into a pure crème brulee. The crisp spirit comes through on the mifddle with enough of a bite to balance the oak sweetness. Lovely length with some slightly tropical fleshy fruit following on and finishing with a grassy/ spicy flourish.

Millstone 8 year old ‘French Oak’ 40%

Cask 350/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Feb 2011

A heavy, oily and densely woody nose. Slightly murky with some lanolin and grilled nut aromas. Then some eastery, high toned notes emerge but the oak clamps down quickly. There is an impression that beneath the oak there is some delicate fruit but the reality is that the oak is still taking more than it is imparting and although interesting I would give it a few more years yet.

The palate is full, robust and oily with toasted nuts and a touch of burnt brown sugar. The oils increase but then the oak suddenly stops dead and leaves the crisp, underweight grassy spirit exposed. Very odd to say the least with a rather bitter finish. Tasting backs up my impression that this needs more integration time.

Millstone 10 year old ‘French Oak’ 40%

Cask 354/ Dist: Feb 1999 Btl: Aug 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2013

A sweet and herbal nose with tart, citrus and green fruits and a fair degree of pot still spice. The oak begins to assert itself with that typical buttery, toffee’d ‘French’ style but the citrus and spice stops it becoming flabby. Good complexity with hints of barley and milk chocolate.

The palate is soft and sweet-ish, opening with the toasty, buttery oak along with hints of toffee coated banana and oily, corn like notes. The oak becomes quite grainy on the middle and the rye like black pepper spices give it a quite unique feel. Good length, if a little feinty with the sweet oak adding a touch of milk chocolate, but just like the nose the combination of citrus and grainy spices keeps the balance pretty well.

Millstone 1999 (14 year old) Special Cask #2 PX 46%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Plenty of leafy, herbal, slightly gritty Oloroso aromas with a touch of coffee, liquorice, treacle and sweet dried prune. It becomes quite grapey and Pedro Ximinez-like with time.

Palate: Full and herbal with an abundance of sweet, lightly treacly sherry.

Finish: Long and sherried with sweet malt and an almost stout-like coffee note. An amazing finish!

Conclusion: Wow. What a huge, stouty/ malty finish. A whisky that thinks it’s a beer? However the nose and palate are quite ordinary, but what a finish!

Millstone 1999 (12 year old) Sherry Cask Matured 46%

Dist: Feb 1999 Btl: Mar 2013

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Intense and herbal sherry dominated. Quite clean but one-dimensional. Hints of prune, liquorice and sweet grape come through.

Palate: Full and herbal. Again very clean Oloroso sherry with a touch of prune and raisins.

Finish: Intense and mouth-watering with raisins and pecan smothered in sweet sherry notes.

Conclusion: All about the cask, but the cask is spotlessly clean.

Millstone 12 year old Sherry Cask 46%

Tasted: Feb 2017

Nose: Intensly phenolic with coffee, lightly herbal and astringent peat. Hints of baked prune and grape with a pleasant combination of sherry wood and vanilla notes. The sherry becomes almost PX-like with time.

Palate: Quite gritty to begin with, both peat and sherry tannin grit! Smoky with hints of treacle and a PX-like grapiness. Very cask dominated with late mentholated peat. In saying that it is very well integrated.

Finish: Long, peaty and sherried with a little rose petal marc-like note on the finish.

Conclusion: Ok, so there’s no distillery character but the peat and sherry are well integrated.

Millstone 1996 (19 year old) Oloroso Sherry 49.4%

Tasted: Feb 2017

Nose: A big, winey and grapey nose. Again there is an almost PX-like grapiness to the aromas and the cask notes are definitely more mature, with that Armagnac-esque rancio.

Palate: A huge hit of Oloroso! Immense, powerful, rich, treacly and mature with a good dollop of spice too!

Finish: Long with the mature dried fruit lingering along with hints of violets.

Conclusion: It’s a big, old sherry monster. The elevated alcohol level gives it verve and stops it being overly sweet.

Millstone 2005 (10 year old) Special #7 Heavily Peated 46%

Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Sweet treacle and oily barley mingle with hints of herbal rye-like notes and violets. Juicy and evocative with subtle oak and peat.

Palate: Juicy dried fruits, estery pineapople and oily barley with a thin thread of peat smoke meandering through. Pleasantly peated with a lovely treacle sweetness.

Finish: Quite dry as the wood spices and tannins kick in but the sweet barley, violets and peat returns.

Conclusion: Superb balance between fruit, oak and peat.