29 years old, distilled 23rd April 1990, 57.5% abv, First Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 146 bottles, dram price J
The nose has pine floorboards, brioche and some new make notes, but rapidly gives way to passion fruit and mango with a hint of gooseberry. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has passion fruit, mango, then citrus zest and a hint of zinc coated bicycle clips before croissants and new pine furniture notes sweep across the palate. Very light and fresh. The finish has passion fruit, zinc and gooseberry.
Water brings out thin, compact whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains more brioche and mango, and loses the new make notes completely. The body gains more pine and mango, and loses the gooseberry. The finish gains more mango and some pine, and loses the zinc. There’s also a hint of peppermint.
A fruity delight, balanced by some wood and pastry notes. For me, Littlemill often has a citrus zest and slightly zinc-like top note, which needs lots of flavour as a counterpoint - this dram manages that. It’s a pleasant window onto not only a closed distillery but also one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. Sadly, that zinc note also reminds me that this was never my favourite Lowland malt experience. It’s remarkable that a 29 year old in a first fill bourbon cask can be this light, sweet and fruity - if that’s your style then this will satisfy. But I suspect many will value it more highly for its provenance than its flavours, which is rather a pity.
One for summer mornings - whisky for breakfast, anyone?
Technical score: 5/5
Personal preference: I’d have another dram.