The closed Lowland distillery of Littlemill had a rich heritage that dated back to the 18th century and current owners Loch Lomond Group are still digging into the old stocks to bring some outstanding rare bottlings to the market.
Littlemill was one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland until it closed in 1994.
The distillery’s history is deeply intertwined with the evolution of Scotch whisky production over the centuries.
Littlemill’s beginnings go back to 1772, making it one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. Its location was chosen due to its proximity to the Auchentorlie Estate and its water source, the Auchentorlie Burn.
Stylistically, Littlemill was known for producing a light and floral style of Scotch and one that is characteristic of Lowland whiskies. The distillery used traditional pot stills and experimented with different maturation techniques to create a unique and delicate spirit. The whisky often had notes of citrus, vanilla, and a subtle grassiness, making it quite a distinct dram.
Unfortunately, and as with so many distilleries, Littlemill faced financial challenges in the 20th century. It was purchased by the Loch Lomond Group in 1994, before its final closure in the same year. It was mainly dismantled in 1997 before a fire destroyed what remained in 2004. The remaining stocks have since become highly sought after by collectors, enthusiasts, and speculators alike. The closure adds to the allure of its limited releases, making Littlemill whiskies prized and much in-demand when anything new is released.
Due to Littlemill’s cult following, there have been attempts to revive the brand. Some of the remaining stocks have been acquired by indie bottlers who have done a great job in releasing limited editions to keep the legacy alive, alongside the magnificent official bottlings.
Littlemill whiskies are highly collectible and both official releases and independent bottlings have gained a cult following. These releases often showcase the quality and craftsmanship that defined Littlemill’s production methods.
Though now sadly a silent distillery, Littlemill holds a special place in the history of Scotch and continues to captivate connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.
Iconic Littlemill Distillery Bottlings:
Littlemill Distillery 250th Anniversary Release
Released in 2022, this 45 year old Littlemill was a strictly limited release of just 250 bottles. It was designed by Master Blender Michael Henry to reflect the ambition and foresight of the distillery’s founders, 250 years before. Distilled in 1973 and matured in American oak. It then had a six month Oloroso cask finish which was traditional for older bottlings. Bottled at 48.1% it was presented in a wooden box in a stunning crystal decanter.
Littlemill Distillery 29 Year Old
There were only 600 bottles of this 29 year old released. It was considered an outstanding and representative example of the Littlemill style. Bottled at 47.3%, this was the thirs release in the distillery’s ‘Private Cellar Collection’, matured in a series of refill Bourbon casks with the final classic maturation in an Oloroso cask. The Private Cellar Collection was first released in 2015 and represent the final stocks of whisky owned by the company.
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