Saturday, 2 November 2013


.the line-up 
Once again, Steve Rush from @TheWhiskyWire has arranged another twitter tasting*. This time, he had found whisky specialist Milroys of Soho willing to supply the attendants with six different, generously filled 10 and 5cl bottles labeled from 1 to 6, meaning this was to be a blind tasting.

First off was a lightly smoked but fruity contender. Initially it appeared a bit rough, but after a couple of minutes in the glass, I truly enjoyed it. I thought it to be a Jura whisky, or at least a blend that contained a large splash of Jura in it, with a maize based grain whisky for added sweetness. My guess was only so-so, as it turned out to be Milroys' own blended malt. Without knowing the content, we can safely assure that there is no grain whisky in it whatsoever.
Good stuff, I have given it a mark of +++/++

Next in line was something I had marked immediately as Irish. It had a lot of citrus fruit on the nose and palate, with a spicy and fruity palate and finish. Because of the jalapeƱo pepper spice I had also given it to be cask strength, but my guess could not have been further away from the truth as it appeared to be a 17 year old Glen Elgin at 46%. This particular single cask bottling is done by (or for) Milroys' themselves and is only available in a limited amount of 348 bottles.
Nice product that certainly can do with a good splash of water. +++++

Upon opening the third bottle, my first thought was Zuidam's Millstone, a Dutch whisky. They can have a scent of many different herbs, and this was no exception. My first sip immediately gave the sweet and clover-honey lovely taste I remembered of their rye whisky. With tears of joy in my eyes, I merely sat there and enjoyed the remainder of the glass. Best part of the evening was that I was spot on for a change as this turned out to be a Milroys' single cask bottling of Zuidam rye at 46% - as opposed to Zuidam's own 50% abv bottlings.
Highly recommended, most twitter contenders gave it high marks, as did I: ++++/+

Rinsing the mouth with a sip of water and a small piece of bread, it was time to open bottle number four. Very rubber and leather like at first smell, together with the scent of wet dogs. We had poured all six drams a little beforehand, and made these notes on the first smell. After the first three drams were finished, the contents of the glass had had a good time to breathe, releasing a lot of sweet notes that matched the dark sherry influenced colour. Lots of sweet liquorice and honey, combined with spices, nuts and some floral influences. I was guessing wrong again with a single grain (Girvan) matured in a good sherry cask.
The ex-Sherry was spot on, but I completely missed that this was once again a Dutch Zuidam whisky: Millstone 14 years old, 1999 vintage, ex-Sherry cask. only 371 bottles available at 46%. +++/+

We are still going strong. The fifth bottle that popped open immediately gave away it's nature. Peat. More specific: Islay peat. Sweet, honey, bbq, bacon, heather, smoke, salty old cheese… Lovely, but: a bit short on the finish. A Milroys' own, peated Islay single cask at 46%, limited to 487 bottles. The distillery is unknown, my guess was a Kilchoman, but the pricetag was a tad too low for that to be plausible.
Very drinkable, +++/++

We were told there was a whisky from 1978 in the lineup of the evening. Since the first five were not even close to that year, the last bottle must have been reserved for this extremely rare and limited edition. Dig up your vocabulary of sweet fruits and flowers, chances are the words appear in this nosing and tasting. Berries, citrus, mandarins, melons (lots of different ones), geraniums, pineapple, syrup… the words keep on coming. It turned out to be an exclusively for Milroys' bottled cask strength, single cask bottling of Glen Garioch 1978 vintage, with only 146 bottles available.
Having tried this again on a different evening where I did not just have a heavily peated Islay whisky, I still came to the conclusion that this was simply not my cup of 'tea'. +++++

Concluding, it was once again a very satisfying and informative evening. Big thanks go out to Steve for arranging the whiskies with Milroys of Soho and gathering the 20 or so people that gave their time to join in this tasting. My personal favorite of the evening was clearly the Zuidam rye, followed by the peated Islay and Milroys' own blended malt. Last in my list was the most expensive and exclusive whisky, simply because of me lacking a sweet tooth.

Fun Fact: all Milroys' single cask bottlings appear to have been done on the 15th of April 2013. 
* for the ones unfamiliar with this term, a twitter tasting is a virtual gathering of whisky enthusiasts, that have been sent a number of whisky samples, sometimes without knowing the content of the sample bottles. The gathering then takes place on an appointed time via twitter where - lead by the organiser and often also the creators of the whisky, the sent samples are tasted and discussed.

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