Littlemill 29 Year Old – Private Cellar Edition#3 – 2019 (47.3% ABV)


Littlemill 29 Year Old is the third release in the Private Cellar Collection from Scotland’s oldest licensed distillery which closed back in 1994 and was sadly destroyed by fire in 2004 and will never produce whisky again, making liquid releases such as this exceptionally rare and no doubt covetable.

This third release in the Private Cellar Collection is said to place particular emphasis on developing the wood character, Master Blender Michael Henry explains how each of the Private Cellar releases have been crafted to deliver different flavour profiles while still retaining the original character of the Littlemill distillery:

“The latest expression in the Private Cellar collection helps to tell another piece of the Littlemill story. Littlemill has always represented the traditional Lowland ‘floral’ style, and over the years the distillation and maturation processes evolved to maintain this flavour profile.

“The first Private Cellar release in 2015 was designed to reflect Littlemill’s original quality and style. The second release in 2017 focussed more on the distillery influence, and by maturing the liquid in refill bourbon casks the distilling process became the main factor in defining the whisky’s character. Littlemill 29 year old, our 2019 release, focuses on the influence of wood.

“The original liquid was laid down in refill bourbon casks in 1990. Seven of these were selected and combined, then finished in first-fill oloroso sherry and Limousin oak casks. The oloroso sherry adds further floral notes, similar to the traditional sherry casks used at the Littlemill distillery, while the Limousin oak provides the European oak influence. The result is unmistakably Littlemill, with delicious caramel sweetness layered with spice.”

The Littlemill 29 year old has been bottled at 47.3% ABV and is presented in a bespoke Glencairn crystal decanter etched with an illustration of the River Clyde and a silver star signifying the Littlemill distillery’s location. Situated in Bowling on the banks for the River Clyde, it would prove to be a defining factor in the distillery’s success, opening important trade routes to key cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh when the Forth and Clyde Canal was completed in the 1790s.

Hand-engraved and hand-infilled by Glencairn’s specialist in-house team, each decanter is truly one of a kind and is individually numbered for exclusivity and collectability.

The beautifully crafted presentation box also includes a 5cl miniature of the liquid, a piece of an original Littlemill cask, and a booklet sharing the fascinating history of the Littlemill distillery with tasting notes from Master Blender Michael Henry.

Limited to 600 bottles worldwide, this 750mL bottle comes in a wooden box with a miniature so you can try the whisky before you open the bottle, as well as a section of a stave from one of casks that matured the whisky


Nose: Floral notes of honeysuckle and rose mix with layers of spice, cinnamon and nutmeg followed by crème caramel and blossom honey with delicate orange.

Taste: Silk like mouthfeel glides over the tongue. Crisp green apple, ripe pear and kiwi fruit before a caramel sweetness is balanced by lime juice and orange marmalade citrus notes.

Finish: Long with toasted oak and waves of warming spice then thick, creamy vanilla and lingering green fruits.

* Aroma: vibrant waves of vanilla, followed by a sumptuous swathe of sherry soaked sultanas, forest fruits and a harmonious hum of spiced honey. Aniseed twists, grilled pineapple rings and oven baked peaches, along with toffee apples, candied citrus peel, fresh ginger and a teasing whiff-ette of wood smoke. Spent coffee grounds, chocolate bourbon biscuits and oodles of opulent oak help to provide a belting bounty of balance, followed by a fresh finessefull frenzy of cherry blossom and rose water.

* Palate: kicks off with another appearance from those now full on and feisty aniseed twists, along with more of those grilled pineapple rings, oven baked peaches and accompanying slices of ripe mango that have been dusted lightly with cayenne pepper. Spiced banana bread, vanilla fudge and sherry soaked cherries, along with charred oak, ground black pepper, cocoa, mixed spice and a good zesting of pink grapefruit.

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