Single malt whisky - tasting notes

03 Feb 2012

Littlemill 1988 (The Whiskyman)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Littlemill

Next up in the new Whiskyman releases is a Littlemill distilled in 1988 and nicknamed “Sympathy for the Whisky”. Did you notice how this year’s releases all refer to a Rolling Stones song?



Littlemill 1988 WhiskymanLittlemill 24 yo 1988 ‘Sympathy for the Whisky’ (54,2%, The Whiskyman 2012, 159 btl.)

Nose: you know the kind of cheesecake with a layer of lemon marmalade on top? This is the liquid version. Really, it’s packed with citrus fruits, more specifically all sorts of candied citrus zests. Closest to yuzu or ugli I’d say, kind of a greenish citrus aroma with some orange aromas. There’s no citrus sourness though, it’s really candied and sort of pastry-like. Some hints of bergamot oil as well. Mouth: still this wonderful combo of refreshing citrus fruits (more tangerine now) and candied sweetness, although this is now balanced by a very soft bitterness and gentle spices from the oak. Superbly focused. Finish: medium long, mostly sweet with the same underlying soft spiciness.

I’m quite sure nobody has ever tasted anything like this, even if you’ve tried all other Littlemill on the market. It’s totally unique, very attractive and easily drinkable. On the other hand, it’s not complex – I’d even say we’re getting into the territory of cask-strength Grand Marnier here. Around € 120. Recommended.

Score: 88/100


Please pay even less attention to my score than in other reviews. Complexity is a key element in my scoring and this whisky doesn’t really fit that criterion. Nonetheless there’s a good chance you will absolutely adore it (as I do). Be sure to try it yourself and make up your own mind.

Littlemill 1988 (The Whiskyman) 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-02-03
  • Jeroen

    Ah les goûts et les couleurs! I absolutely adore this Littlemill and I think it’s one of the most complex whiskies I’ve ever tasted…so for once I don’t agree with your notes (well, I agree with most of your notes but I think it deserves a higher score-in my book). I really enjoyed the battle between the bitter (grapefruit) and the sweet.

    mmmm cask strength Grand Marnier…I would like some of that right now with these temperatures!

  • Bart Alisch – Foamy

    Well I guess Jeroen and I have a kind of equal taste.
    If I read your tasting notes then I see ‘cheesecake with a layer of lemon marmalade on top’, packed with citrus fruits, pastry like, hints of bergamot oil, soft bitterness and gentle woody spices.
    I would like to add that ‘packed with citrus fruits’ in my book stands as ‘I taste about every citrus fruit in this whisky that money can buy’.
    I have a hard time getting my head around why you can label it as ‘not complex’ after such a tasting note? And still give it a very respectable 87/100. It’s a bizar whisky and maybe that’s why it’s a bizar tasting note 😉 But in my book if a whisky is ‘unique’ and has no off notes and such a nice fruity taste … it gets more points. It has been a long time that I talked so much about a dram…. it has been a long time I bought 3 bottles of the same whisky. I adore this stuff, I love this profile and I really like the price :)
    I tried it myself on several occasions (hard research 😉 I made up my mind. I’m buying a 4th bottle.

  • Ruben

    It’s a wonderful Littlemill and we’re all agreeing on this whisky guys. Except for the fact that “every citrus fruit that money can buy” is still only one aroma (or make that “aroma family”) for me, hence my comment about complexity. It IS extremely fruity, it IS totally unique, it just very hard to score…
    From you, Bart, I’d expect that you didn’t even care about scores 😉

  • Bart Alisch – Foamy

    I ordered my bottles long before it was bottled and bloggers had the chance to put a score on it 😉
    I scored it for myself and it went directly up the +90 zone in my book. Lovely stuff.
    But i was very curious about you guys opinions.
    As a whisky passionate … I like to talk/discuss these kind of exceptional bottles. Don’t we all ???
    It’s correct to say that every citrus fruit is still one aroma family. But I think that my taste buds can’t handle a lot more then such a variety in one family 😉
    Damn man talking about this littlemill makes me impatient to go home. I know what I will be doing this evening … taking in my citrus family vitamins … sort off…

  • Ruben


  • Pingback: Littlemill 1988 (Whisky-Fässle) | WhiskyNotes()

  • MARS

    Tryed it at lindores yesterday and it is amazing, really amazing. So different than anything I have tasted previously.
    Anyone know where I still can get a bottle?



November 2015
« Oct    

Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1930 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.