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

October 13, 2022


Little Duos, end of the line, today Littlemill

Existing stocks are dwindling down, I don't think the indies have much Littlemill left. Remember the old Distillery (the oldest licensed Distillery in Scotland) was closed down in 1994 (or was it 1993?), dismantled in 1997, and destroyed in a fire in 2004. What's more, Littlemill Distillery would have been 250 just this year, were it still standing, and owners of the name and remaining stocks Loch Lomond have decided to celebrate accordingly, with a 45 years old! Wow! We'll have it today, but first, our usual sparring partner, a wee 1990 of excellent provenance…
(photograph Littlemill)


Littlemill 24 yo 1990/2015 (54.2%, Alambic Classique, Rare & Old Selection, oloroso sherry, cask #15305, 295 bottles)

Littlemill 24 yo 1990/2015 (54.2%, Alambic Classique, Rare & Old Selection, oloroso sherry, cask #15305, 295 bottles) Five stars
Whenever we comment on fruit bombs, we often mention Balblair, Benriach, Lochside, Clynelish, or even Convalmore, or Bushmills naturally, or those 1960s Bowmores and Laphroaigs, but we shouldn't forget Littlemill, at least not these 1988-1992 vintages. Colour: gold. Nose: indeed. Prickly pears and tangerines running the show, then oranges, starkrimsons, and a good glass of Yquem or any other high-brow Sauternes from a not-too-old vintage. The oloroso seems to have brought fresh walnuts, parsley and lime tea. It is all extremely wonderful. With water: tiny herbs chiming in, tarragon, basil, coriander… Those further enhance the bright fruitiness. Mouth (neat): just amazing. All citrus fruits you could think of (do you really want me to list them again?) Smart people might call this one 'yuzu-y'. Passion fruit ice cream and a little custard are closing the loop. With water: loses a tiny bit of focus but that's completely normal. Becomes just a notch tea-ish. Yuzu and consorts are still there in the orchestra. Finish: medium, extra-citrusy and more and more herbal towards the aftertaste. Once again, nothing abnormal. A little salt, perhaps anchovies in the end. Unexpected but works great. Comments: splendid drop and more proof that 24-26 years is a perfect age.
SGP:761 - 91 points.

Littlemill 45 yo 1976/2022 (41.8%, OB, 250th Anniversary, 250 decanters)

Littlemill 45 yo 1976/2022 (41.8%, OB, 250th Anniversary, 250 decanters) Five stars
They finished this baby in oloroso for six months, but you would easily understand why they would have done that, probably to 'marry' and 'bind together' several old casks. Those had already been re-racked in refill hogsheads in 1996. What's more, this decanter comes with original photographs, some silver, a book, a brass stopper, etc. Oh and a very smart miniature so that you could taste your whisky without having to sacrifice your precious decanter. An excellent practice that not enough Distillers are, well, practicing. Remember Signatory's Silent Stills? Colour: gold. Nose: a whole different story after Alambic's glorious 1990. Let's be honest, we all know that earlier vintage wouldn't stand a chance against those 1988-1992s; having said that, I believe this one would easily beat any other Littlemills distilled in the 1970s, or at least most of them. Are you following me? It started a wee tad dusty, with whiffs of old books and old pipe tobacco that went dry, and even bandages, but some small fruits started to pop out here and there after five seconds (first clementines and maracuja), and then there as this lovely parsley, watercress, coriander leaves… After all, it is not that different from the 1990, which is most certainly a tour de force. No obvious, dominant sherry at all, that's even better. Mouth: but but but… hurray! Mango chutney, miso, a little gravy, olive sauce, plum wine, umeshu, even some sake, some shochu, and then the trademark fruits, mangos indeed, tangerines, oranges… At no point does it get drying, flat, too tea-ish or weak, on the contrary. For once, that finishing was probably a benediction. Finish: not very long, naturally, but still bright and fruity, this old Littlemill remains very much alive. Some saltiness in the aftertaste, and this parsley… Comments: very, very smart bottling, if I may. No slaughter, this baby's actually doing far better than surviving, it is fighting back! Now let's check price and availability (erm…) …

SGP:661 - 91 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Littlemill we've tasted so far







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