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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

June 2, 2014


A bunch of grab-them-while-you-can Littlemill

There are quite a few new Littlemills from the late 1980s or early 1990s around again. Another occasion not to complain! Today we’ll do a shortish verticale from 1992 to 1988. It’s a rather difficult kind of session, even when the whiskies are great, because the taster really has to ‘deep-nose’ them to find all the nuances.
Littlemill 21 yo 1992/2013 (49.9%, The Whisky Cask, bourbon hogshead) Four stars Colour: dark straw. Nose: it seems that this baby’s somewhere halfway between the very grassy and grainy Littlemills from the 1970s, and the fruitbombs from the late 1980s and early 1900s. That means that we’ve got quite a lot of grapefruits and mangos, but also a vivid grassiness, apple peelings, green tea… Another rather sauvignony one! Also quite some vanillin from the oak, so it’s oak-aged sauvignon Mouth: it’s the distillate that speaks out, and that’s great. Sharp and chiselled citrus, pink grapefruits, citronella, all that on some zesty green tea, fresh-wulong style. Perfect strength. Finish: of medium length, clean, crisp, pure and citrusy. Comments: this session starts well. SGP:551 - 87 points.
Littlemill 23 yo 1990/2014 (47.8%, Archives and Pure Spirit, bourbon hogshead, 176 bottles) Four stars and a half Colour: dark straw. Nose: this one’s straighter, zestier, with a nice zing (no white zin though) and plenty of lemon and guava juice, as well as wee touches of wood smoke. In short, this one is crisper than the 1992, even if it’s not quite ‘a blade’. Mouth: oh lovely! Its got all the citrus blah-blah and the green tea blah-blah, but it’s also got an earthiness and even notes of gentian eau-de-vie as well as some liquorice wood. This, I enjoy even more. Maybe even touches of salt. One grain per litre, no more. Sorry, not salt as such, rather a saltiness (an old whisky geek joke). Finish: of medium length, rather more on juicy and zesty tropical fruits. The earthiness lingers in the aftertaste. Comments: another great zesty Littlemill, not much else to say. SGP:651 - 89 points.
Littlemill 23 yo 1990/2013 (49.8%, Eiling Lim, 68 bottles) Five starsColour: gold. Nose: we’ve got the same(ish) notes of guava juice and citrus, the vanilla as well, but what’s quite remarkable here is that there are also various herbal teas, which adds a layer of aromas. Lemon grass, fennel, maybe a little thyme, dill… There’s also a little banana that comes out after fifteen seconds. Nice complexity, all these Littlemills are usually good but not all of them are this complex in my opinion. Mouth: multi-vitamin juice with white pepper and green apples. Guavas, papayas, grapefruits, plus the obligatory green tea and a good glass of Alsatian (of course) Riesling. Whisky for wine freaks. Finish: quite long, very sharp in a good way. And leaves your palate clean! Comments: pure Littlemillian zestiness – and bliss. SGP:651 - 90 points.
Littlemill 23 yo 1990/2014 (51.7%, Jack Wiebers, bourbon, cask #1033, 144 bottles) Five starsColour: pale gold. Nose: it’s an even fruitier one, but we’re rather on sweets and marshmallows than on fresh fruits this time. The end result is just a lovely, having said that. Banana-flavoured jellybeans, pink grapefruits, maybe a little vanilla fudge, maybe touches of broken branches and moss. I also find whiffs of eucalyptus tea, which I really love. Now, it’s to be noted that second after second, we’re getting closer to the Eiling Lim, especially after the addition of three drops of water. Mouth: yes, it’s the same, just a notch bigger. Zesty tropical fruits extravaganza. Finish: long, sharp, chiselled, citrusy and a tad grassier now. Comments: unbeatable in its category – or you’d have to resort to a 1966 Bowmore, unless you’ve got some 1981 Lochside. Oh well… SGP:651 - 90 points.
Littlemill 24 yo 1989/2014 (53%, Archives, bourbon hogshead, cask #42, 178 bottles) Four stars and a halfColour: straw. Nose: oh, no! Another gloriously zesty Littlemill, ridden with tropical fruits and, this time, slices of melon and quarters of peaches. Enough said. Mouth: this one’s rather more ‘focussed’ than the others, I mean narrower, and yet that could be seen as an asset in this context. Lemon and grapefruit drops. Finish: long, maybe a notch greenish this time, so rather grassier than the others. The riesling’s been pressed with its stalk. Comments: this one was very blade-y. It’s a style that’s more austere, less ‘immediate’ than other Littlemills, but I like it just as much, really. SGP:561 - 89 points.
Littlemill 24 yo 1989/2014 (48.7%, The Whisky Agency, Liquid Library, refill hogshead, 199 bottles) Four stars and a half Yes this is a mistake, I should have tried this one before the 1989 by Archives because of the higher strength, my bad. Colour: white wine. Nose: very, very similar. Maybe a notch fruitier and more expressive. All kinds of grapefruits plus half a maracuja. Yes that’s passion fruits with a smarter name. Mouth: emphatically fruity and zesty. We shan’t list them all again, shall we? Having said that, I also think it’s one of the sharpest and grassier Litlemills I could try. Raw lemon peel? Notes of peach as well, as in some Ardmore. Finish: quite long, super green and ultra zesty. One of the best muscadets, perhaps – yes there’s some great muscadet. Comments: Littlemill really is one of the winiest drams. We’re talking about dry white wine, of course. SGP:571 - 89 points.
Littlemill 25 yo 1988/2014 (51.9%, Archives, bourbon hogshead, cask #12, 134 bottles) Four stars and a half Colour: dark straw. Nose: phew, white wine again, but this time it would rather be a chenin, maybe from Vouvray or Montlouis. All this is very spectacular, and of course there is a lot of grapefruits as well as minerals (wet limestone) and maybe touches of fennel/dill.  Mouth: starts with the very same fennel and dill, which gives it an odd, but superb pastisness. Or ouzoness (seems like you need holidays, S.) After that, grapefruits, lemons, green tea, grass… In short, the whole caboodle. Finish: long, grassy, sharp, with maybe a few green and sour tannins. Comments: I think I liked the 1989 by Archives a notch better, but we’re splitting hairs again, aren’t we? SGP:571 - 88 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Littlemill I've tasted so far


Whiskyfun fav of the month

May 2014

Favourite recent bottling:
Tomintoul 1977/2013 (54.9%, OB, sherry, cask #3691, 312 bottles)  - WF 91

Favourite older bottling:
Ardbeg 30 yo 1973/2003 (51.9%, Douglas Laing, Platinum Old & Rare, 94 bottles) - WF 96

Favourite bang for your buck bottling:
Laphroaig 22 yo 1991/2014 (49.8, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 168 bottles)  - WF 91







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