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Millburn distillery was established as the “Inverness Distillery” in 1807 and was rebuilt by David Rose in 1876. It became part of the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) family as a result of the 1935 merger of Booth's with William Sanderson & Co., which itself was purchased by DCL in 1937. DCL moved Millburn under the control of Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd in 1943. Millburn was closed in 1985, and in 1988 many of the buildings were demolished to allow for the property to be redeveloped. In 1989 a restaurant named "The Auld Distillery" was opened in one of the remaining distillery buildings. This Millburn expression was bottled in October 2001 as a part of Diageo’s Rare Malt series.
The nose is fascinating: lemon and light vanilla notes are followed by black pepper and subdued smoke. In a way this nose is light and fruity, in another way it is rich and smoky – quite difficult to pin down. There is a delightful underlying sweetness that rounds everything off. With water it becomes fruitier, with distinct vanilla notes and a buttery touch. All in all a rather complex nose that was a lot of fun!
The palate is rich, hot and spicy, and is dominated by lemon and oranges. The longer it lasts the drier it gets. With water it becomes even spicier and a bit salty.
The finish is of medium length. It delivers a fiery start but then evaporates quickly.
A raw and wild single malt! The nose is definitely the most interesting part, being multifaceted and unexpectedly wild. An unusual whisky that I enjoyed a lot.