Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! And to ring in today is a malt we don't see everyday - Miltonduff. Situated in Elgin, it was an illicit still until it took out its license in 1824; George Ballantine & Son acquired it in 1936. For much of its life it occasionally released a single malt called Mosstowie, but most of its output ended up dumped into Ballantine's Finest. Pernod Ricard bought it in 2005. To my knowledge, there are no longer any official bottlings of this single malt.
This SMWS bottling is 7 years old; I don't have any further information than that, though I presume this is an ex-bourbon barrel based on the flavour profile.
The colour is a pale straw. On the nose its wonderfully malty, rich with vanilla, lemon peel, light honey and a hint of parsley. Underripe pear. Cereal notes. Water brings out more herbs like cilantro. Lovely stuff.
On the palate the lemon really pops, with more herbs, tropical fruits (underripe banana and mango), white pepper and vanilla pods. The high ABV is not overwhelming; very creamy mouthfeel. Spicier, and creamier, with water. Bright and flavourful.
The finish is cayenne, lemon pepper and strawberries. For those who swear that older whiskies are inherently better (which I don't think anyone here subscribes to), this proves them wrong. Young and shiny, this is perfect for an early Christmas afternoon. And don't be afraid of water, this takes it like a champ.
So this is the final dram in the KWM 2020 Whisky Advent Calendar. While I very much enjoyed this journey, I must admit I found the calendar far too heavily weighted in favour of scotch single malts - they made up the vast majority of whiskies here. There were two scotch grains, one Canadian grain, one bourbon, one Dutch and one Irish - the others were all scotch single malts. No Japanese, no blends, no vatted malts, no other countries represented. I know owner Andrew Ferguson is huge on the single malts, and yes I guess so is the consumer base for this calendar - and the calendar was still great overall - but still there could have been a bit more variety.