Excuse the long notes to follow, but bottles of Littlemill don’t pass my way too often. It’s a bottle I was pouring in last year’s TWE show queue, in light of the golden offerings I was offered the year before [Whisky Loving Pianist].
They say you should disregard the first neck pour. But still, first impressions can count.
N: Distillate-faithful, bourbon-matured, spirity=resinous bitter/oaky honeyed/lozenge citrus straw-like nose with plump yet light raisin overtones.
T: Very natural, firm barley and oaky vanilla=bourbon arrival, turning a little eggy & bready – so eggy bread.
F: A fair woody > butyricness on the turn with the subsequent release of honeyed barley and a bitter waxiness, becoming more putty-ish/tannic/malolactic and gently prickly towards the end. Concludes with a touch of wood glue on balsa wood.
C: Provisionally scores a solid 87.
N: Time to get stuck into the meat of this bottle. It’s quite pongy – lactose/metallic pond water no less with the occasional fishy hint [literally] – though in time it’s the bourbon-aged, floury soft aromatically-spiced, spirity/fruity citrus notes that come through strongest, joined a some wort-y paste-y barley=buckwheat watery porridge character.
T: Metallic-y eggy & < bready into an unusual waxy soft/sharp, green-bitter citrus, waxy, vanilla-y oaked development. Metallic citrus settles.
F: Butyric/lactic/metallic bitter-zesty, greasy liquorice dryness, but with a creamy=milky barley savoury-sweetness coming through at the end. After a soft creamy citrus zing, we’ve firm bitter/milky oaky liquorice at the death.
C: Super moments, though it’s not always harmonious. I’ll stick with my solid 87 for now.
TAKE 3 [last 1/3rd]
N: Consistently pleasing floury-savoury < sugary=cereal-sweet nose that wears a desirable coppery coat with lime=grapefruit citrus pattern. Some Fimo, cashew=pistachio nuts and buttered bloomer bread joins the shopping list, alongside a little lamb, cotton wool, tropical fruit and a hint earthy/soil/chalk before slipping [peripheral smelling?!]
T: Surprisingly strong everytime [given the calm nose], with a citrus bitter lemon arrival and development with a desirable & comforting heat reminiscent of green chilli masala dishes. The mouthfeel is rather good, the palate markedly sustained. Deeper layers see more tropical fruits, putty and very clean lambs wool.
F: After some ringing aniseed action, it turns putty-like with that clean wool, soft plastics, wood plane sawdust shavings and blu-tac humming in the background. Bitter citrus pith rings so true at the death. With lots and lots of water however, we’ve an extension of the development, the finish an extension of the journey. Grapefruit pith remains true-as! The citrus heat sustains for a long while, so much so, it’s one you may take home with you.
C: I didn’t find this easy, but my perseverance was rewarded with a uniquely profiled whisky.