Millburn 1983/1995 James Mac Arthur’s

Waking the dead

Millburn the last of the Inverness-three on my list and coincidentally also the last one to close its doors now more than thirty years ago. Most surprisingly it was also the only one to be spared from demolition, being turned into the restaurant/Premier Inn hotel that it still is today. You can still see it today, though little in the architecture gives away its former purpose.


millburn32Description: matured for 12 years in a bourbon(?) cask and bottled in 1995 at 46% ABV, by the much-praised independent bottler James Mac Arthur’s.

Nose: fairly light, with some more common notes of wheat and butter pear, but also some odd ones like cigarette smoke and wet wipes.
(with water added: more rubber on the nose betraying this dram’s peaty origins).

Mouth: creamier than expected, very bitter on the palate. Mainly light citrus acids: lemon and grapefruit, but also cardboard and a hint of boiled potatoes.
(with water added: the bitterness fades to make way for a touch of heather. The grapefruit flavour gains some depth and a salty side note emerges?).

Finish: grey pepper fading on vanilla, a tad on the dry side maybe.
(with water added: the dryness increases almost squeezing your throat).


The Verdict: I was expecting disappointment, but got a light yet enjoyable dram with some original character traits instead. If it were still available, I would recommend it as an easy sipper, on par with lets say a contemporary Glencadam.
Score: 83

Nose: 20

Taste: 21
Finish: 19 Balance: 23
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house