Latest Rare Littlemill Scotch Whisky A 40 Year Old Offering - The Whiskey Wash

Latest Rare Littlemill Scotch Whisky A 40 Year Old Offering

By Nino Marchetti / October 25, 2018

The Littlemill distillery in Scotland, as we’ve highlighted in the past, is one of the “lost” distilleries in whisky making history. It was ultimately completely destroyed by fire some years back, with what precious aged Scotch stock left being in the hands of the Loch Lomond Group. They periodically release some to market as special bottlings, and a new 40 year old looks to be the best so far.

The Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition, according to those behind it, was originally distilled in 1977 and aged four decades in American oak and first-fill bourbon barrels before a brief finishing period in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It is bottled at 46.8% ABV in a hand-faceted Glencairn Crystal decanter, each engraved with its unique bottle number and sporting a solid brass stopper made in Glasgow.

Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition

Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition (image via Loch Lomond Group)

What’s of particular uniqueness of this expression is the way in which it celebrates the life’s work of Littlemill owner Duncan Thomas. It is said that one of “his more lasting legacies was the introduction of the straight-necked pot still with rectifying heads, that made it possible to create variations on each spirit he produced, allowing him to retain control of the character of the final liquid.”

This philosophy was embraced by Japanese distilleries, and to mark this, the 40 Year Old box has on its interior a map of the night sky seen above Littlemill on the evening that the liquid was barrelled. Hence the name Celestial Edition.

Plans call for this Scotch to be made available globally in just 250 bottles, each pricing £6,000, or a little over $7,800 USD. It is a collector’s focused whisky, and includes in the box a 5 cl vial of the 40 year old liquid, for those who would like to sample the whisky while keeping the bottle intact. You’ll find some official tasting notes below for your consideration.

  • Nose – Floral bursts of honeysuckle and elderflower, early summer hedgerow, with delicate honey sweetness and elegant oak spice of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Taste – Opens with mouth-watering fruits, crisp green apple and fresh pineapple with grapefruit and lime citrus then richer dried fruits of sultana and raisins before vanilla toffee gives sweetness to the mid-palate.
  • Finish – Long with layers of fruit and spice. Green fruits continue into the finish with gooseberry and kiwi before waves of warming cinnamon and clove spice.