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

Millburn 1966 16 yo G&M

Millburn, Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor are usually referred to as the Inverness distilleries, though none are open today. Millburn was founded as ‘Inverness’ distillery around 1807, the first of the three. Its early history is filled with changes of ownership until 1853 when a David Rose became the owner of the premises and used it as a mill, until 1876 when it was converted back to a distillery.

In 1892, Andrew Haig & co. bought over the distillery from a son of David Rose, and the Millburn Distillery Company was formed in 1904 – the official name of the distillery was changed to Millburn, one might speculated this could be attributed to its recent history as well as its proximity to a river. ‘Burn’ being the gaelic word for river or stream.

Millburn changed hands again in 1921, to Booth’s Distillers Ltd, and they must not have managed the distillery properly because it burned down the next year, leaving only the stillhouse and thankfully, the warehouses with the maturing whisky. A few acquisitions later Booth’s themselves became part of DCL, and its successor Diageo closed Millburn for good in 1985. The reasons for its closure are generally known – the whisky crisis of the 80s, and its poor location, being caught between an expanding city and the river, and difficult transport links to the site of the distillery, both hampering future growth.

For the connoisseur, important dates are:

1964, when the floor maltings were converted to Saladin boxes and 1966 when the stills became steam heated.

Today, the old buildings live on in another guise:

It is now a motel under the Premier Inns label.


Millburn 1966, 16 yo, Connoisseur’s Choice, 40%

Millburn 1966 16


Nose  Nose: Old wood, lots of sherry aromatics and sharp spices, also smells of glass. Very complex, and also clearly not a ‘modern’ whisky. And it’s only 40%, doesn’t seem that way. Ok, old wood and cracking wax. Wood smoke even. The sherry is aromatic – plum skins and other purple fruit. Milk chocolate, old dry tobacco leaves. Not ‘fresh’ sherry but rich and aromatic. The spices are sour and sharp, something like  fennel or coriander. A drop or two of camphor , and somewhat dusty.. well it is old.

Taste  Palette: OBE seems to come through here. Very complex and rich. Quite excellent, full of all these ‘aromatic’ flavours that blend harmoniously and smoothly. There is something tea like, a blend of black and chrysanthemum, and soot. Dry herbal aromatics come through, though I can’t pick it apart. Sherry of course, never overbearing but lends a dollop of dry fruit.

Finish  Finish: Long and dry herbals plus something sooty and ashy.



Makes me mourn the fact that there’s not enough old whisky around. Excellent whisky –  now was it already excellent when bottled, or did 32 years in the bottle do something to it?



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This entry was posted on May 13, 2014 by in Millburn and tagged .
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