So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Littlemill 22 yo 1990 / 2013, Whiskybase special bottling

Littlemill might have been one of the oldest documented distilleries with some record of it going back to 1750s, by 1772 offices for the excise officers had been built and is generally taken as the year of its founding. It is the oldest distillery from which we still have whisky available. Today we regard it as a closed lowlander, but it really sat at the border between the lowlands and highlands.

By 1875, the distillery was in the possesion of one Hay who rebuilt it, but was closed in 1929.

In 1931, Duncan Thomas, master tinkerer enters Littlemill’s history and changes it for good. In an earlier post on Loch Lomond, Mr Thomas was attributed as the reason for Littlemill’s strange stills. He took a copper pot still bottom, and placed a rectifying column on top of it, and the whole thing was clad in aluminium. While he was at it, he also changed the distillation to a double distillation regime, a different Saladin box with ventilation towers.

Such a still must have looked something like this:

ll-lomond-still 1

In 1971, Littlemill was the property of the Barton Distillery Company ( Thomas and the Barton Distillery Company previously being part owners of Loch Lomond, with its own strange stills). And in 1984, when Barton Distillery was itself acquired, Littlemill closed for good, but for a short 5 year period from 1989 – 1994, from which the majority of today’s bottlings are drawn from.

Things come around, and the Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse company, which owned Loch Lomond until recently, then bought Littlemill and still own the site today, though of course the distillery itself was dismantled in 1997 and the remainder of the premises were destroyed by fire in 2004.

Due to its rectifying column, Littlemill made 3 whiskies in its history –  the Littlemill we have today that it is best known for represented the lightest lowland style whisky it made, but very very rarely you might come across a Dumbuck or Dunglas, which were last made in 1972 and represented a heavily peated and unpeated style.

Littlemill 22 yo 20 Dec 1990 ~ 10 Feb 2013, Whiskybase special bottling, bourbon hogshead no. 34, 322 bottles, 56%


This is a bottling by the Whiskybase website to celebrate hitting  40,000 bottles on the site.

Nose  Nose: Lovely. Loads of soft ripe peach flesh sliced right under my nose. Soft red berries, not tart but ripe at the height of harvest. Mouth watering. Just a touch of sap. Apricot nougat, and all these shades of vanilla – bread and butter pudding or vanilla creme I can’t decide. Soft nuttiness and pear peelings, loads of hay. With water: More of the same, but I prefer it without.

Taste  Palette: Spiced and sweet, with all these wood spices rising up to my nose. Quite hot too at this strength, and noticeable nail varnish hmm.. Brulee banana, sour apple and vanilla pods. Gradually becoming more aniseedy and drier with wood notes towards finish. And cereals. With water: Softer, but same game.

Finish  Finish: Long, spiced and dry. Clean but almost with a salted almond taste.



Fantastic Littlemill, but for that nail varnish in the palette, still, what a nose, so soft and luscious and fragrantly fruity. I could sniff it all day.


One comment on “Littlemill 22 yo 1990 / 2013, Whiskybase special bottling

  1. Pingback: Littlemill 22yo, 1990/2012, The Whisky Agency, 52.2% | whiskyrific

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2014 by in Littlemill and tagged .
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