When I first heard about Millstone, the whisky from Zuidam distillery in The Netherlands I was very very skeptical. I’d been burned by far more pricey ‘craft’ whiskies from various places, and above all my first Millstone was a rye. It turned out to be a fantastic rye even when compared to some of the better American stuff and I was instantly transformed into a fanboy.
So when I heard that whiskysite.nl was bottling a 3 year old peated Millstone for their annual festival, Whisky in Leiden, my reaction was very different to when I usually hear someone trying to sling a whisky barely old enough to be called whisky (I know, I know the 3 year rule only applies to Scotland, but enough world whisky distillers seem to do it so lets not discourage the practice) with some sort of gimmicky finish. I was really, genuinely interested, and to that end chipped into a shared purchase with some other local whisky buffs.
Aged 3 years. 56.6%ABV. Matured in a PX cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.
Nose: Marmite. Cooked figs. Eggplant. Salty toffee. Woodspice. Burned citrus. Fennel.
Palate: Very salty. More marmite. Beef stock. Miso. Dry, nutty wood. Cayenne pepper flakes. Stewed fruits, particularly plums.
Finish: Long. Beef stew. Pepper. Fennel. Light sticky fruits.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was astoundingly complex for just 3 years aged. The best term I can think of to describe it is hearty. It was full of beefy, savoury notes and not half as aggressive as I’d expected. The peat profile here was quite unique too. A really lovely little firecracker.