Miltonduff-er?

Another terrible pun. Am I getting better at making them worse?

This begins a fair stretch of reviews from my very serious fact finding trip to Edinburgh. I did it for you all, honestly the awful things I go through to provide you with content!

Anyway, Miltonduff. What do we know about them? Honestly I don’t know alot. I’ve only ever seem them bottled from independents like Gordon and MacPhail which is where my experience hails from.

A bit of fact finding reveals why. Miltonduff is actually one of the core components of Ballantine’s Blended Whisky. Well let’s stop the bus I want to get off. It’s mainly going into a blend so that obviously means it’s not good enough to stand up as its own single malt.

Wrong. Very wrong. I’ll be having none of your outdated and old fashioned whisky snobbery here thank you very much. If it wasn’t for your blended Scotch whisky you wouldn’t have your single malt market. Blends account for around 90% of global whisky sales right now. And it was blends that first kickstarted the world’s interest in Scotch. Tea blending grocers in the big Scottish towns and cities realised they could make quite a bit more money by blending whisky for the “softer palate” of the consumer over the border. Blending malt and grain whisky lightened the often heavier flavour of the Highland spirit and with the very convenient wiping out of around 75% of all France’s vineyards by the great wine blight of the 1870’s a window in the market was created after the brandy dried up. Scotch and soda took over; and it’s never looked back.

A very retro-looking label of the Miltonduff G&M 10 Year Old


So Miltonduff. You can get a hold of this particular bottling for around 30 quid if you have a rummage around. However with the release of the G&M Discovery series 10yo I can see this one fading away into the Scotch mist.

God that’s terrible. Next time I’ll just say it’s being discontinued, I suddenly came over all overtly descriptive and poetic; and that’s before I’ve had any whisky!

As usual lets set the scene. In a bar called Arcade just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, late evening. The wing-backed chairs in here are ridiculously oversized, you could fit twice as many seats in if they had normal sized furniture.

Musty wooden old library shelves on the nose. Old church pews, that sort of really old wood smell from furniture that’s a good couple of hundred years old.

Bit of a light sherry taste on first contact with the tastebuds. But not much, either an older cask maybe thats not got alot left to give? Or maybe Miltonduff new make is pretty feisty and doesn’t take on the cask flavours so easily, who knows? I certainly get that strong spirit on the tip of my tongue. Bit of black pepper but then the finish is a bit of a curve ball. Banana skin. quite literally. When you have to bite into a banana because it won’t peel and you get that sort of woody almost powdery taste in you mouth round your teeth. That’s my only way of describing it.

Probably would taste better with a few drops of water? Maybe even ice? Anyway there’s no way im trying to navigate back to the bar round all these comically sized chairs to find out. It’s a solid enough single malt as is.

Whisky dram was purchased by myself at Arcade in Edinburgh. About 4 quid.

For Drinkers. For Thinkers. For Fun.

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