Wherever you are in the world, I strongly suggest you try a Millstone. And I’m not saying that because I’m a Dutchman.
Millstone is made by Zuidam Distillers, an independent artisan distillery in the south of The Netherlands. Their barley is milled by a Dutch windmill and they make all kinds of spirits, mostly genever. Their first whisky came on the market in 2007 and they’ve come a long way since then.
Millstone uses all sorts of casks. Of course American oak and sherry, but we’ve also come across French oak and Moscatel caks. One thing’s for sure, they definitely know how to pick their casks, especially sherry casks.
Take this 3yo Oloroso Sherry for example, it’s incredibly bold and soaked with sherry influences. It almost feels like it has matured somewhere in Asia, the colour and flavours are unreal for a 3 year old whisky:
Marzipan, a wet leather raincoat, chocolate raisins, a vintage drinks cabinet (old wood) and wet hay.
Full, sweet and juicy, red fruits jam, old wood and an earthy layer which makes this kind of dirty (in a good way).
Long and heavy, with raisins, dark infused wood, dark spices, chocolate and walnuts.
It’s surprisingly heavy, makes me wonder what kind of magic went into this. I personally like this young expression better than their 12yo. So I guess it just soaked in all the goodness from the sherry seasoned wood, before the wood itself was able to take over.
It costs about 40 euros in the Netherlands, so there’s no doubt: this is one of the staples of my whisky shelf, and also the reason it scored so high. The price/quality is superb.