Our third and final Millstone is Dec 1 in this year's KWM Whisky Advent Calendar: a single barrel, barrel proof whisky of 51% malted rye and 49% unmalted rye, matured in American Virgin Oak - no age statement given.
The colour is a dark gold. On the nose - wait, did they accidentally put their gin in here?? Lots of great gin notes like juniper, candied lemon peel, orange zest and cardamom; but also buttered popcorn, roasted almond and fresh cut pine. Very herbal - cilantro, mint and Italian parsley. Water brings out more herbs and woodsmoke. Honestly, I think if I had nosed this totally blind without knowing even what kind of spirit was in here, I would have thought it was a barrel-aged gin. But no matter, it's fantastic.
On the palate we get hot spices, lightly toasted oak and more of those gin-ish notes of orange zest, cardamom and various herbs. Very minty - almost toothpaste - with oversteeped tea, balsamic vinegar and macadamia nuts. Water sharpens the flavours considerably. Not the burst of excitement the nose was but this is fascinating stuff.
The long finish is very toasty with brioche, oak, more roasted nuts and black peppercorns. Well, this is an entirely different beast from the two Millstone single malts we've done just prior. They all have a very distinctive quality - kind of a lovely "dirtiness" I can't quite put any other way - but this rye really stands out. You can buy the minis from KWM now, or wait until early 2021 when the full size bottles come out - highly recommended, and I look forward to trying more from Zuidam.