...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, May 15, 2020

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

I am a troll in a house full of luminous fairies. I am a walking I Don't Know What I'm Doing meme. I am very grateful and very confused. This world of parenting and beautiful girls remains mysterious, and Queen Enigma turns six years old today.

She feels seven things at once, releasing a stream of sentences each one contradicting the previous, refusing the things she loves only to beg for them back. Her artistic sensibility far exceeds mine already. She struggled with Disney's Alice in Wonderland because Alice is such a passive protagonist. Resolutely her own person, she would still fuse into her mother at every moment if she could. She wants to be thrice her age and half her age. She wants to travel the world and always stay home. She is always brave and nervous. Or at least braver than I am. I want her to grow up to be stronger than her father, to make better choices and never relinquish her passions. Sometimes I want Mathilda to be older right now so she can tell me everything will be alright and I would believe her and only her. But she's six. And watches Frozen 2 every week.

Today's Littlemill was opened on her third birthday. Since then I've only brought it out during this one week of the year, or when I'm hosting whisky friends. I could let this bottle stretch out to the next birthday, but I won't. It's time to enjoy it and move on.

And no, I won't be comparing the whisky to her. I no longer compare whisky to women, and if you still do you may want to consider your relationship to both. My daughters teach me stuff.

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
(from the bottle half of my bottle)

Barley roars forward in the nose with citronella, apricots and Bartlett pears in the midground. Then there are freshly roasted nuts and hints of creamy confections. It's floral but never too pretty due to the weight of the barley spirit. There's plenty of heat in the palate, but it also holds onto the nose's fruits, also adding yellow cherries, tart blackberries and zippy yuzu. Salted caramels float to the surface after 45 minutes. It finishes as fiercely as the palate starts, but adds some sweetness. There's plum wine, salted caramels, almond extract and brisk tart citrus.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1 tsp water per 30mL whisky
The nose feels fuller, more fragrant, more floral. Salty ocean air, white peaches and a lemon tart. The palate becomes puckeringly tart, lots of limes and grapefruits. Hints flowers and minerals, a pinch of sugar. Tart citrus and berries lead the finish. Not much sweetness. Jasmine and stones.

The birthday girl continues to build a remarkable palate. She scarfed down plain greek yogurt before she turned two, and now she insists on eating limes. "They're fruit." The tartness in this whisky's diluted finish almost stripped my tastebuds. It's a heck of a thing and she'd enjoy the sensory experience, except this is whisky. I'm sipping some of the whisky again, from a tumbler instead of a glencairn, but even this wide glass doesn't soften the bite.

Apparently this Littlemill mellowed out during its second and third rounds, but has since toughened up. It's not even a casual drinker at 46%abv. Still all its fruits could go well with this spring weather. I'll drop it to 43 or 40 percent just to find its best spot. And there's a lot of it left.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $140 back in January 2015
Rating - 87