Review: Millstone Special #25

It’s the 26th of April which means that tomorrow we celebrate King’s Day in The Netherland. But for many people the real party is the night before, because on King’s Night there’s party’s galore to come together and raise a glass to King Willem-Alexander his birthday. Since Kings Night falls on a Wednesday this year, I decided to pick a Dutch whisky to kick off the night: The Millstone Special #25!

Full disclosure: I got myself a sample of this whisky, as I’ve been reading mixed reviews about this release. On paper this Millstone Special sounds like just my cup of tea. I love a good port finish, especially on a peated dram. Though I don’t think I’ve often enjoyed a white port finished whisky before. But the reviews made me hesitant to purchase a full bottle, which is why I was happy to see that whiskysite.nl sold 6cl samples of the dram. Let’s find out if it’s worth picking up a full-sized bottle of this Millstone Peated White Port.

Tasting Notes: Millstone Special #25 – Peated White Port
Stats:

ABV: 46% (92 proof)

Age: 4 years old

Distillery: Millstone

Owned by: Zuidam Distillers

Category: Dutch Single Malt Whisky

Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Setting:

For those of you wondering if I paired the whisky with the food in the picture: I did! But only after I wrote these tasting notes as I didn’t want the notes to be influenced by all that sweetness. Once I did try it though the Tompouce made for a very interesting combination with the whisky! If you happen to own a bottle, be sure to give that pairing a try.

I’m writing these tasting notes from my new couch, which I put together this morning. Which means I’m physically quite exhausted, but mentally I feel fresh (and quite happy with my new couch). A good state to be in to enjoy a dram! I decided to forego the music today, as I’m thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet.

Nose:

On the nose the peat is immediately very apparent, it is in fact so dominant that I’m barely getting any influence from the port at all. It’s a vegetal kind of peat, with moss, bracken, and muddy water. If you ever had to get your ball from a ditch, took a step too far and sank knee deep into the water… you’ll know the smells I’m talking about. There’s some vanilla in there as well though, and just a hint of sultanas. Which is probably the port cask coming into play a little after all. All in all a nose that will be pleasing to fans of peat.

Palate:

The palate of this dram is a very odd one. There’s a series of highs and lows that follow each other up quite rapidly. It starts rather light and delicate, bringing a dry white wine to mind. But as it leaves the tip of the tongue the peat starts to kick in, and what I’m finding is a smoked mackerel. After the mackerel some white pepper kicks in, and as that note is fading it’s followed up by an artificial sugar note (think aspartame). All these notes follow eachother up rather quickly, and it makes for a rather disjointed palate. The whisky does have a pleasant creamy mouthfeel to it, and I loved finding the smoke mackerel in there, but it’s rather a shame that such a lovely note is followed by one of aspartame.

Finish:

The finish of this Millstone Special is just short of a medium length. For as peaty as the nose and initial hit on the palate were, I half expected it to stick around longer. That having been said though, the aspartame does turn into a mellow honey on the finish. Which makes that note at least a lot more enjoyable. There’s an unpleasant bitterness that lingers on the sides of the tongue though, which reminds me of the aftertaste of wine gums. An aspect of that candy that always put me off it, but as it’s a highly popular candy others might find this note very pleasant!  

Verdict:

I don’t agree with some of the harsher critiques this dram has gotten online. For a 4-year-old whisky I think this is a very interesting dram and at roughly 44 euro it’s affordable as well. The combination of Peat and White Port is a fun one to explore and I love to see Zuidam experiment with combinations such as this. That having been said though, I don’t think I will be buying a bottle myself. I found the port influence rather underwhelming and though I very much enjoyed the nose, both palate and finish had some notes that put me off. Still, I’m very glad I got to try this Millstone and I’m looking forward to exploring more of their specials!

Rating:

75/100

Value:

B

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