Thanks to /u/devoz for sharing a sample of this whisky.
The Netherlands. Not so much a place people think of when one says “Whisky Maker”. Usually a place one thinks of if I mentioned, for instance, social tolerance or perhaps tulip crash or even “Holland”, if you’re nasty.
However those people aren’t including Zuidam Distillers. Originally started in 1976 by Fred van Zuidam and Hélène van Zuidam. They named it after their dog, who had the same last name however wasn’t related to them (this is a joke).
However for 20 years they made the booze of their country. Gin and genever. If you don’t know what those are, they are clear liquids that you mix with tonic when fighting in Africa and are worried about malaria. They smell like a Christmas orgy took place but someone forgot the eggnog (Dammit Phyllis!)
Anyway in 1996, Millstone was born, and named after the implement used to grind the grain. And if you’re an ex-Magic: The Gathering player, drive another place insane.
However I’ve reviewed Millstone before. But never a single cask from them. Of which I blame everyone on but myself.
So when offered Millstone 100% Rye Single Cask 1577, I jumped at the chance. And then was told I didn’t need to overeact that much, and then sat down and tried it.
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $87.99 CAD at Kensington Wine Market
Distillation Date: Jan 2012
Mashbill: 50% malted rye, 50% unmalted rye
Total Bottles: 144
Colour: 10YR 8/10
Nose: Liquorice, grapefruit, grain, floral, toffee
There’s some spice here, though more anise then expected. Beyond that and some floral notes around the edge, it’s not screaming rye.
More tart, more toffee, and more grain than other ryes I’ve had before.
Taste: Tart grapefruit, liquorice, spongecake, caramel
Okay, more grapefruit then I was expecting. And the spice isn’t that mix of Chinese 5 spice, tons of Xmas spices. More so a ton of anise.
Which I love. And this is making less fall down pain then absinthe drinks. Also my teeth aren’t green.
Odd spongecake flavour to it.
Finish: Chocolate, liquorice, tangerine, grain, arugula
Lots of chocolate on the finish, and… yeah, more orange and more spice to it. It’s quite odd. There’s some vegetal notes throughout.
It’s like a bourbon had a ton of rye in it’s mashbill. Like 49% around there.
Conclusion: I’m pretty sure this comes in the same vein of Amrut rye, and there’s a sharing of ideas between them on screwing with what rye is like. Just to screw with all of us.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s an interesting thing. I can see why this was sold as a single cask. It is very far from the normal profile. That said… I don’t know if it’s good.
I enjoyed parts of it, and a good amount of anise in it. However it’s really sweet, quite odd, and needs more to it. It’s going in some crazy directions. There’s some rough edges to it, especially on the finish.
World Whisky review #290, Netherlands review #3, Whisky Network review #1269