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Millburn 1983/1995 James Mac Arthur's

Waking the dead

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@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

19th Jan 2016


Millburn 1983/1995 James Mac Arthur's
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Millburn the last of the Inverness-three on my list and coincidentally also the last one to close its doors now more than thirty years ago. Most surprisingly it was also the only one to be spared from demolition, being turned into the restaurant/Premier Inn hotel that it still is today. You can still see it today, though little in the architecture gives away its former purpose.

Description: matured for 12 years in a bourbon(?) cask and bottled in 1995 at 46% ABV, by the much-praised independent bottler James Mac Arthur’s.

Nose: fairly light, with some more common notes of wheat and butter pear, but also some odd ones like cigarette smoke and wet wipes. (with water added: more rubber on the nose betraying this dram’s peaty origins)

Mouth: creamier than expected, very bitter on the palate. Mainly light citrus acids: lemon and grapefruit, but also cardboard and a hint of boiled potatoes. (with water added: the bitterness fades to make way for a touch of heather. The grapefruit flavour gains some depth and a salty side note emerges)

Finish: grey pepper fading on vanilla, a tad on the dry side maybe. (with water added: the dryness increases almost squeezing your throat)

Verdict: I was expecting disappointment, but got a light yet enjoyable dram with some original character traits instead. If it were still available, I would recommend it as an easy sipper, on equal footing as lets say a contemporary Glencadam.

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Pierre_W commented

Great tasting notes, @Pandemonium, thanks for sharing! Millburn is a single malt that is getting rarer by the day and I myself have had the pleasure to taste only the two bottlings from Diageo's Rare Malts series. For me, Millburn is one of those 'austere' malts, neither fruity nor lush but with rather subdued flavours, more on the malty side and almost exclusively matured in ex-Bourbon casks. I can't say that I don't like it but it is not a favourite either. A modern malt that comes close to Millburn in terms of taste is - IMHO - Ardmore.

8 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

Thanks @Pierre_W Only my second Millburn so I can't comment on any general style, but I've got one more G&M miniature of Millburn waiting in the cabinet, that is quite good according to Serge from whiskyfun. It does have some elements of Ardmore: the pepper and the notes of rubber, but it doesn't quite get that peaty profile. They used peat from Dava Moor, while Ardmore gets its from St Fergus, maybe that has got something to do with it.

8 years ago 0

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