Friday, July 15, 2016

Vladimir Georgiev from Whiskey Temple reviews: Millstone. PX Cask 6 Years Old, Dutch Single Malt Whisky

We at the Son of Winston Churchill is all about sharing the love for Whisk(e)y.
That's why we, from time to time, reach out to other equal minded, asking them to join forces and share the passion.

A couple of weeks ago we mailed our favorite Bulgarian Whisky blogger, asking if he would write a guest review, about one of his favorite bottles. Almost instantly we received his reply. He would love a shot with the malt gun and would consider it a privilege to write a review for us.

That is why we are greatly honored, being able to present, our whisky brother from another mother Mr. Vladimir Georgiev founder of Whiskey Temple, reviewing
Millstone’s PX Cask. 6 years Old, Dutch Single Malt Whisky.  

Please give him a warm welcome.

 Ho-ho-ho, Merry Christmas mates!

I know, I know, we`re still in the middle of July, but I’m wearing my festive pajamas today, cause today is a big day for me. Almost like Christmas, but much warmer and tastier and more important. Why? Let`s jump on the paragraph below and I’ll show you why.

In this particular moment I’m having my debut on the international blogging scene. So, let me introduce myself: I`m Vladimir, a whiskey aficionado and blogger from Bulgaria. What I do is, sipping whiskies from around the world and writing about them. I am also writing about the current trends in the whisky industry, no matter, if I like them or not. I`m not the first one who`s doing so, but I’m the first blogger from Bulgaria who`s appearing as guest author here, on SOWC blog. How did it happen?

Well, Hasse Berg, the founder of this tasty project invited me several days ago and I just couldn`t resist. No, he didn`t kidnapped me or threatened me with a gun or a tank /Churchill was one of the best English tanks during the WW2. I say I do, because I find writing as my mission, my purpose and I’m having fun doing it. Usually I’m doing my reviews in Bulgarian, so if you find some mistakes – blame the lack of whisky, cause it`s still 10.30 in the morning and my inspiration turns to be only the coffee in my glass.

I know that you are used to reading predominantly bourbon reviews or articles inspired by a fancy scotch whisky, but today I’m going to break the habit. At first, I was thinking of breaking the hobbit, but we all know how tough these little fellows are. Do we? That`s why I decided to present you something different, not that mainstream or trendy as a Japanese whisky. Gals and guys, I present you Millstone PX cask, 6 years Old Dutch single malt whisky, born and raised in Zuidam distillery, somewhere in Nassau, Holland. 

Netherlands and whiskey ?! Who, why, what?! Is it possible? Yes, Yes, Yes, mates! Not only it is hypothetically possible, but is already achieved in practice. Incredibly, the Dutch also boast its own whiskey industry. The Zuidam distillery is operating for several decades and it took me around a second to fall in love with it. But, let`s get back in the history class for a brief introduction.

Zuidam Distillers was founded in 1975 by Fred van Zuidam, currently replaced by his sons - Patrick and Gilbert. His idea was to build a small boutique distillery and for this purpose it was equipped with copper stills. In 1989 production volume was increased and now gravitates around 250,000 liters of alcohol per year. Lately, his sons added 4 more copper stills, which are responsible for the maturing barrels on site, which I’ve heard are around 1000 barrels. As far as I know, a Zuidam is building a new warehouse and it`s a permit for a new, modern distillery. I`m not sure if you`re aware, but Zuidam is producing liqueurs, rum and Dutch rye whiskey, too via column stills.

What really impressed me was the fact, that they are using locally sourced barley and Belgian beer yeast for the fermenting process for their whisky making /I love Belgian beer … and chocolate, too – just in case, if you`re wondering what to surprise me with for my B-day/. And the shape of the pot stills. Zuidam distills twice, which means its whisky is double distilled through the wash and the spirit still, which are equally big. For example, the Scottish wash stills are bigger than the spirit stills, due to the fact that you`re getting less quantity after the first distillation. But enough is enough, let`s get back to the point: Zuidam PX cask „2008”.    

This whisky has spent almost 7 years in pedro ximenez sweet sherry cask. It was distilled on 24.04.2008 and is bottled just a week before reaching 7 years of age: on 17.04.2015. It`s bottled in natural color and is non chill filtered /if I’m not mistaken/. The alcohol content is 54,2% and is uncut with water. That`s why this tasty stuff is called cask strength. 

Aroma - from the beginning seemed quite different, interesting and at the same time enjoyable, comparing it with the whiskies I’ve tried so far. It brings very strong sweetness, and a lot of baking spices. Imagine the smell of dough of a cake, to which citrus / orange flavoring is added. In Bulgaria we call it kozunak or Easter bread. Strong association with baked cake, coffee, rye whiskey, and lots of caramel. If that would help you imagine the smell, I could compare it with the atmosphere in a candy store or confectionery. It brings distant remembrance of sherry, cola, cinnamon, cinnamon flavoured oranges, maple syrup, and freshness. There is also light alcoholic note. The scent is quite intense. I got more oaky undertones. Later, I caught traces of tiramisu, ice cream with coffee and association with the aroma of Irish liqueur /like Sheridans/. And that isn`t all. I detect sweet dark fruit - perhaps plums. With several drops of water - more caramel, orange peel, Christmas cake, coffee and maple syrup. After a while, under the influence of water and due to the aeration i felt "an explosion" of flavors, especially of dark fruit, caramel, more citrus, herbal honey, and freshness. I added few more drops of water – with them I got more of the mentioned above. This goody feels almost like a "Christmas in a cup", with its generous sweet plums, dates and figs, and a strange smell which reminds me of dried salted cherry tomatoes.
Palate – spicy, sweet, greasy, unleashing salivation, mouth watering, again hints of cola and dried fruits. With water - more sweetness, spices, chili and a perfume note, maybe because of its youth.
Finish – long lasting, oily, warm, carrying lots of dried fruit, malt, but not as sweet as expected. It reminds me of a peppermint and of a dark beer, without being too bitter /more like Belgian beer, than a stout/. With water - dried fruits remembrance of sherry and very gentle and pleasant bitterness /like chocolate, but not completely from the dark side of the force”/, spices and more hints of a cake.
In conclusion: love it. I know it`s malt whisky, but it doesn`t feel like a regular one. Maybe because it`s unconventional it won`t suit the preference of the hardcore scotch aficionados. But if you`re in a mood for something different and at the same time very delicious, give it a try. Just find a bottle and taste it.

Over and out!
Quality over quantity!  

Photo & Review By: Vladimir Georgiev

Visit his Whiskey Temple by clicking here