Review: Miltonduff 1995 18 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Signatory) / by Jason Hambrey

18 Years Ex-Bourbon
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Miltonduff (Elgin, Scotland)

Miltonduff was the second distillery bought by Hiram Walker in 1936 after acquiring Ballantine's, who changed their style from a light, triple-distilled spirit to something akin to what is produced now. It is a major player in Ballantine’s blends. Like Hiram Walker distillery, this is all owned by Pernod Ricard now.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: Casks 4112, 4113, 4114 (all ex-bourbon)

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Some really nice sherry here – or so I thought at first -  having a bit of an aged character (i.e., it is more like a well-aged sherry than a lightly aged one). But that fades – it isn’t quite a rancio character but almost – that oak must have done some interesting work. It’s quite fresh, with lots of rich dried fruit – and some nice white grape I often find in Canadian but not often in Scotch. Some pear, hay, and dust too – porridge, custard which grows with time.

The palate is quite grassy, and fairly rich, with a good kick of malt coming in and finishing gradually as the grassy malt unfolds with light vanilla, beeswax, dried peaches, roasted black pepper, and cinnamon. Lightly tannic on the end – I was expecting something a bit different! Less sherry on the palate than the nose. Pleasing barley and earthiness on the finish, and some dried peach and dried pineapple. The malt, throughout, is actually quite brilliant and dense – I am quite enjoying this.

Intriguing, too, particularly with how all the earthy notes fit in to the fruit and the malt. Not detracting, for sure. 

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, based on $93.