Miltonduff 1981 36 Years Old (North Star Spirits)
North Star Spirits is quickly becoming an independent bottler to watch out for. Often very fairly priced (I’m conveniently forgetting about the 12yo Ardbeg that costs 300+ euro). Overall some great cask selection, with some surprising long-aged whiskies as well.
Don’t think I’ll quickly forget this Bunnahabhain for example. A little while ago, founder Iain Croucher delighted us with this 36yo Miltonduff. A distillery often overlooked, but especially the older examples can be of outstanding quality.
Miltonduff 1981 36 Years Old (53.7%, North Star Spirits, 176 bts.)
Nose: Oily and with lots of sweet orange juice and slightly bitter orange peel. There’s a whisper of varnish and malt, with just a hint of vanilla pods and marmalade. Finally a whiff of puff pastry and lemon yoghurt. Good balance.
Taste: Nice creamy mouthfeel, with a sugary sweet, honeyed arrival, ensued by an array of spices, such as nutmeg, but also cinnamon and ginger, and an oaky bitterness. There’s some room for a mango fruitiness too.
Finish: Lingering bitterness, whiffs of sweet fruits. Medium in length.
A whisky that has probably spent just a little too long in the cask. The oaky bitterness is a tad too present to my liking. Good whisky, sure, but not nearly as good as this same vintage from Adelphi.
Photo: Master of Malt
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.