Millburn 1969 35 Years Old (Rare Malts Selection)
Happy 2017 everybody! I figured I’d start the new year with something rather special. After careful consideration I decided upon a Millburn 1969 from the Rare Malts Selection. The 10cl sample I have of this (thanks Tom!) is nearing its end, so it’s time to write a tasting note.
Millburn was by far the oldest of the three Inverness distilleries (the others being Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor). The distillery received legal status around 1805, and was closed 180 years later (coincidentally also the year I was born) as the growing whisky loch forced the distillery’s demise.
If there are any casks left of this former distillery, then there aren’t many. In the last ten years less than a dozen new Millburn have been released by independent bottlers (according to Whiskybase). There are only three (semi-)official expressions of Millburn, and all of them are part of the Rare Malts Selection.
One of those three is this Millburn 1969, which I’ve tasted several times during the last year and I can safely say this is one of the best whiskies I’ve tried in maybe ever. Curious yet?
Millburn 1969 35 Years Old (51,2%, OB Rare Malts Selection)
Nose: Slightly musty, has a dunnage warehouse sort of quality. Some nice pine wood as well. But that quickly makes way for an array of (tropical) fruit. Nectarines and peaches, ripe banana peel and lemon zest. There’s thyme and aniseed, as well as oats. A touch of smoke. One of the best noses I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.
Taste: Oh yes! Oily and mouthcoating with lime, kumquats and pink grapefruit. Fizzy. The dosage of oak is pretty much perfect, with menthol and tobacco leaves, as well as macadamia nuts.
Finish: Menthol, oak and some black pepper. Lingers for a ling time on ripe yellow fruit.
Wow, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is at the top of my list of whiskies I taste in 2017. One of the greats in my book. This goes straight into my top 10 best whiskies!
I have two other rare whiskies lined up for this first week of the year: a Bunnahabhain from the 60’s and a Port Ellen as well. So stay tuned!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.