Millburn 27 years Gordon & MacPhail hails from the dead Millburn distillery. Founded in 1807, closed in 1985 and dismantled in 1988 this distillery was up and running before the Excise Act of 1823 made whisky making legal in Scotland. A renegade distillery that was also one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland before being shuttered who, like many distilleries, had multiple owners over the years and spent a fair amount of time closed for one reason or another.
MIllburn Distillery Timeline (via Malt Madness)
- 1807 – Founded as Inverness Distillery (though some claim it’s as early as 1805)
- 1825 – Bought by James Rose and Alexander MacDonald
- 1829 – Rose & MacDonald’s company was liquidated
- 1829 – 1853 Mystery what was going on, but at some point stopped distilling
- 1853 – Bought by David Rose and used as a mill
- 1876 – Reconstructed as a distillery
- 1881 – George Rose took over the distillery (David’s son)
- 1892 – Acquired by Andrew Haig & Co.
- 1904 – MIllburn Distilling Co. created and distillery’s name changed to MIllburn
- 1921 – Taken over by Booth’s Distillers Ltd.
- 1922 – Fire severely damaged Millburn Distillery, but was rebuilt the same year
- 1935 – Booth’s Distillers Ltd. merged with William Sanderson & Co.
- 1937 – William Sanderson & Co. acquired by Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL)
- 1943 – Millburn was transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD)
- 1985 – Millburn Distillery closed
- 1988 – Most buildings demolished
- 1989 – Distillery building turned into a restaurant called The Auld Distillery (now called Slice)
Millburn 27 years Gordon & MacPhail Info
Region: Highland, Scotland
Distiller: Millburn (1807 – 1985)
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Age: 27 years
Price: NA – Auction, private sale or specialty shop
Millburn 27 years Gordon & MacPhail Review
Sweet red apples, cinnamon and honey fall up and out of the glass, tumbling down the nasal passages. Baked phyllo dough coated in vanilla frosting and buttery grilled bread come next. Give it, and yourself, a moment to breathe and notes of wood and earth show up adding another dimension to this wonderfully aromatic whisky.
Vanilla dusted orchard fruit starts out apple, moves to pear and then finishes with apricot slides over the palate leaving a nutty trail speckled with malt, wood and dark honey. A light bit of that earthy character from the nose comes through on the tail end as it heads into the finish.
Earthy notes fade to orchard fruit which fades to sweet vanilla and wood on a long slow exit.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Balanced as can be with a rich round body and thick oily texture. It runs a little hot, but that bit of roughness sits as a nice juxtaposition to the richness.
Millburn 27 years Gordon & MacPhail is amazing stuff and was one of the top whiskies from the dead distillery tasting we did at the La Scotch Club. It had almost everything you could want in a rich and complex whisky: A sweet and supple fruity nose balanced by some biscuity and earthier notes; a palate that’s rich, oily, fruity and nutty; a finish that’s an elegant fade from the rich palate. This is seriously good stuff and a distillery that could put out whisky like this is a sad loss indeed.
SCORE: 93-96/100 (range given since it was not tasted at home)