Littlemill 1989 24 Years (Whisky-Doris)
Back in 2014 I said Littlemill was like Port Ellen a decade earlier. Not in the literal sense; both whiskies have hugely different flavour profiles. More in the sense of their respective position in the market place. Six years ago, a bottle of Littlemill cost around 100 euro, maybe a little more. Ten years before that, you could still buy Port Ellen on the cheap — relatively.
So I made a promise to myself in that blog post: for the rest of the year I would buy any Littlemill I’d encounter (you’d still find the occasional forgotten bottle on the shelves of a shop) so that I could enjoy the distillery for many years to come. Provided a bottle wouldn’t cost much more than 100 euro. That was in March 2014. About six months later I had stretched my budget by 50 percent to 150 euro. I don’t think I bought many more Littlemill after that. Still, my plan worked out fine and I won’t be wanting for Littlemill anytime soon.
But to be totally honest with you, I haven’t much felt the urge to drink Littlemill in a while now. I’m not as excited about it as I once was. The flavour profile is very distinct but can be narrow too. Right now, I have a little left over from this Warehouse Bottling from Cadenhead’s, but that’s the only one I have open. To maybe bring back some Littlemill excitement in my life, I figured I’d pour one of the few samples I have left from this distillery. Who knows, it might encourage me to plunder my own Littlemill stash.
Littlemill 1989 24 Years (51.7%, Whisky-Doris, C# 32)
Nose: Plenty of citrus, ranging from lime to orange and grapefruit. Soft notes of cherry lemonade and peach as well though, accompanied by touches of wet cardboard. Finally a touch of butterscotch, but mostly this is just a juicy little fruit bomb.
Taste: An explosion of tropical fruit. Classic Littlemill. It’s been a while since I’ve tried this and this reminds me why it is so popular in the first place. Peach, mango, lots of pink grapefruit, zesty lemon and blood orange. Just a tinge of creamy vanilla custard and some soft spices.
Finish: Creamy, lingering spices, but mostly tangerines and peach. Long.
Just an extraordinary flavour profile that is pretty much unmatched. This reminds me what I love about Littlemill in the first place. Watch out, there’s about to be some Littlemill opened.
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.