Millstone 100 Rye Whisky
The Netherlands: everyone is getting into the whiskey game these days. I, for one, welcome it. More choice can only be a good thing. Especially when the outcome is something as memorable as this! My only reference point on Rye Whiskey was Bulleit, so I didn't really know what to think going in. If truth be told, my bottle of Bulleit was only ever used to mix into Old Fashioneds. Much like Bourbon I had never considered Rye a drink in itself. For the second time this month, the Dram Club has corrected me.
A bit about the distillery. Millstone is produced by Zuidam Distillers which, under the stewardship of Master Distiller Fred van Zuidam and designer Hélène van Zuidam, began producing liquors and Genevers in 1976. Their sons entered the business when they were old enough becoming the general manager (Patrick) and sales director (Gilbert). Patrick, evidently a very wise man, decided that he wanted to make his own whisky and so in 1996 the first experimental barrels were produced.
In this bottling Zuidam has focused on the number 100. It is 100 Proof (50%ABV), at least 100 months old, 100% Rye Grain, 100% aged in New American Oak in a 100% handmade manner. So much care is taken with these bottles that each is had labelled and the details are written on! My Notes:
Nose: Floral and fruity with toffee sweetness. Notes of chocolate mute the rye spice which comes through as a hint of cinnamon. It brought to mind (bear with me on this one) a pavlova with orange segments on top. The citrus and toffee balance each other beautifully.
Palate: The fruit comes through as light citrus with herbal top notes. The sugary fruit sweetness rises and fades quickly with herbal hay notes lingering towards the back.
Finish: The oil allows the delicate herbal notes to remain for a long and floral finish at the back of the palate.
This is a dram that benefits from a few drops of water given the higher than usual alcohol content. It has made me want to take Rye seriously and it has made it on to the Whisk(e)y Shelf as a bottle I want! Having tried only this sample I think there is a lot more that could be gotten from this expression on a further tasting. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it!