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Friday, May 20, 2022

Mathilda Malt: Littlemill 29 year old 1988 Old Malt Cask for K&L Wine Merchants

As noted on Monday, I've always celebrated my older daughter's birthday with pours of Littlemill single malt. This year it was one pour, and few Littlemill samples remain. Thankfully, my sample stash is properly stocked with special items, like this week's Ledaig and Craigduff.

This year's Littlemill was from a refill hoggie bottled for K&L Wine Merchants in California. At 29 years old, it's the oldest Littlemill I've ever tried. I loved the 25yo K&L exclusive I sipped last year. Hope this is another good one!

Distillery: Littlemill
Region: Lowlands
Independent Bottler: Hunter Laing
Range: Old Malt Cask
Age: 29 years (November 1988 - 2018)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Cask #HL 15208
Outturn: 144 bottles
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants
Alcohol by Volume: 55.8%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose is a bit closed, though it does start off with some lemon, oregano, juniper and vanilla. It picks up small doses of rosewater, nectarines and coconut with time. The palate is herbal and fruity: nectarines, citrus blossoms, thyme, oregano and cayenne. It finishes floral and peppery with hints of brown sugar and limes.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Lemme see if this opens it up. Well, the nose is less herbal, less floral, simpler overall. But I do get some nice barley notes in the midground. The palate feels thicker and brighter, with the nectarine and cayenne pepper playing very well together. It finishes sweeter and simpler, possibly hotter.


Aside from a few nose moments, the oak was nearly silent. Huzzah! But at the same time, spirit wasn't very talkative. No actual flaws, just sort of quiet and modest. Also a bit forgettable when compared to this week's Mathilda Malt mates. Though I'd normally not recommend tinkering with a whisky of advanced age, this one may play best after some extended dilution experiments. So if you have this bottle open, and it's not doing much for you, water it down, carefully.

Where do I go from here? After this modest malt, Croftengea crashes in next week!

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $250, three years ago
Rating - 85 (diluted)

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