...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mathilda Malt: Littlemill 22 year old 1990 Berry Brothers & Rudd (round 2)

I opened my one bottle of Littlemill, one year ago, to celebrate Mathilda's birthday. And......I was kinda whelmed. From my commentary:
There were substantial youthful notes throughout, yet there was also some heavy oak. And they didn't (or haven't yet) come together. I wonder if this whisky spent most of its life in a third- or fourth-fill cask before being re-racked into a hyperactive first-fill or new oak barrel.
I like the youth, the leafy grassiness, the bite, the fight in this Littlemill......But the naked unintegrated (segregated?) oak stuff holds it back. I will indeed let this sit in the bottle for a year before I open it again, then I'll review it again to report on what's happened.
So I did just that. I mummified it with parafilm, then had it sit in the corner of a dark closet for one year so it could think about its behavior, much as I've done with Mathi.......okay, okay. Take it easy. Just a little joke for the parents out there.

(Actually, that was just to see if Kristen still reads my blog. I don't think she does because my readership has dropped 100% this year. From 1 to 0.)

How about that whisky?

Distillery: Littlemill
Former Owner: Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd (proto-Loch Lomond Distillery Co.)
Independent Bottler: Berry Bros. & Rudd
Region: Lowlands (close to the Highlands border)
Age: 22 years (1990-2013)
Maturation: American oak?
Cask number17
Alcohol by Volume: 54.3%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

On the nose it's lemon bars and key lime pie and orange lollipops. Roasted almonds and peach ice cream. A merging of mellow malt and vanilla, along with a green leafiness. Subtle for its ABV. That balance of malt and vanilla shows up in the palate as well. Then almond cookies, tart limes and salt. A crisp graininess. Something between a minerally white wine and tonic water. Limes and limestone? I don't know why I wrote that. There's a sweet undertow throughout. There's citrus in the finish, lots of citrus, but not acidic, thankfully. Brisk minerals, tonic water and almond cookies. A great length to it.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1tsp water per 30mL whisky
Water pulls the nose's characteristics closer together. Citrus/leaves/oak/nuts merge into one. There's a new tropical fruity note now, and a new vanilla cake one too. Meanwhile, the palate gets sharper, bitterer. Spritely. Mineral, quinine/tonic and limes with a sweet Bushmills-esque malt. The finish keeps its stamina. Tart fruits, mild bitterness and vanilla cake.

Yay! All the dissimilar parts, which had been crashing into each other like cops in a Buster Keaton short, have transformed. The weird new oak notes have vanished, and the remaining vanilla plays nicely. Lots of spirit remains. Very fruity and minerally stuff. I liked the nose better when it was diluted, but the palate was more enjoyable when neat. I dig it either way.

But wow, what a change. This is great. Happy days! I'm going to enjoy another glass or two, then parafilm it up and open it again next year for Mathilda's birthday.

Availability - Sold out :(
Pricing - $140 back in January 2015
Rating - 88