I always think of Littlemill as a second-tier closed distillery. You have the upper-tier ones with legendary and hyper-expensive releases, like Port Ellen and Brora. And I’d also put the likes of Rosebank, Lochside and St. Magdalene in there. To me, Littlemill is more in the same league as an Imperial or Caperdonich. Often good, sometimes great, but legendary? Not so much.
Today I’ll closely examine the Littlemill 1990 21 Years Old from Whiskybroker, an independent bottler that also serves as a, well, whiskybroker. Or probably the other way around, as I’d say the brokering of casks is their core business. But when they release a single cask through their own webshop, they always do so at incredibly fair prices. When it comes to value for money, their releases are certainly up there.
I’m not quite sure what the official release price was for this particular Littlemill, which matured in an ex-bourbon cask. But it’ll probably be shockingly low. It wouldn’t surprise me if this originally cost something like 60 euro. Meh…
Littlemill 1990 21 Years Old (55,1%, Whiskybroker, C#35)
Nose: Fresh and vibrant and fruity with just a wee bit of that signature cardboard-y element a lot of Littlemill have. Lots of coconut, and a whisper of oranges, mandarines, pear, vanilla custard. There’s a tiny hint of grapefruit too. Lovely and well-balanced. Taste: Vibrant pink grapefruit, followed by bitter oak and cardboard again. Also some mellow notes of orange juice and melon. This could be better. Finish: Somewhat bitter with soft orchard fruits. Medium in length.
As far as Littlemill goes, there’s plenty of better ones out there. I’m not saying this is a bad whisky. Far from it, but you do have to okay with some bitterness.