Miltonduff is one of those distilleries you do not often come across. There are hardly any official releases. The lion’s share goes to the blenders, with Ballantine’s as the best known one. In my glass is a Miltonduff from 1981 that slept in the cask for no less than 36 years and was bottled by Iain Croucher, the Glaswegian who launched the very popular North Star Spirits a few years ago. This Miltonduff was released in September 2018.
I immediately get some wood spices on the nose. The oak is very loud. Nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and paprika. Than quite a bit of nuts and some chestnuts. Something musty like dried autumn leaves next to my Dad’s garage. Luckily there is also a good dose of honey, Sevilla oranges and some dried aprictots. Spicy sweet and good.
Very oily and rich on the palate with oranges, peel included, and mango. Mandarin from a tin can. But again the oak puts its foot down. Powerful peppers, grated ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon – there is not end to this. Very spicy. That makes for a good balance between the sweetness of the fruit and the bitterness of the wood.
The finish is medium long on sweet mango, bitter oranges and cinnamon.
Impressive Miltonduff and bottling-wise probably perfect timing. I do not think it would survive another few years on the cask. With a price tag of around 300 EUR, this is not cheap, but it certainly is great. Thanks, Manny!