Zuidam Millstone 8 Year Old – French Oak

Dutch whisky! We do bring you some delights from around the world.

Zuidam distillery is based on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. They seem themselves as a bit of a craft distillery (or artisans). They’re a family owned distillery, and all “recipes are designed by father Fred and son Patrick van Zuidam”. The distillery produces around 600 products, which is quite staggering, though it’s not all whisky – they do liqueurs, gin and so on. In fact, they’ve actually been knocking out products for around four decades, so there’s quite the history and a huge range has developed over that time.

As for the whisky, there’s quite the selection, including single malts and rye whisky. I decided to go for a bottling of 8 Year Old Millstone, which is single malt whisky from the 2000 vintage. It’s had two years of ageing in French oak casks after, so I’ve read elsewhere, it’s already sat in former Jack Daniel’s barrels. Hopefully the old JD wouldn’t have ruined it too much…

Colour: light cider or apple juice; a lighter honey. On the nose: fairly classic sweet vanilla notes, the kind of thing you might expect out of ex-bourbon casks. Madeira cake. Marzipan. Clean as a whistle, though. There’s a touch of sea spray perhaps, but not a huge amount of complexity.

In the mouth: that’s a fairly straight-down-the-line whisky of low complexity again, but not badly balanced nonetheless. A fairly thin dram, with low viscosity, though with a touch of chewy woody flavour there. Again a gentle sweetness, though not as much as the nose promised; that saltwater carries right on through, nutmeg, stewed apples, possibly even a waft of peat, followed by the vague hope you might find more… But it falls a little flat, and the finish is a fraction bitter.

As they say in Internet parlance, this was a bit meh. It’s not particularly exciting. You’d be looking to pay £60 for this and there are a lot better things you could spent that money on. Alas, my adventures in Dutch whisky haven’t proven all that successful so far. But I hope to be proved wrong in future…

  1. Joris_M says:

    I did not even realize they also have whiskies. I have had some of their aged old genever. Which was nice, although never reaching whisky complexity.

    1. Malt says:

      Yes, they’ve got quite a range of whiskies apparently. I’ll definitely be seeking out some more from them, since I like to support more unusual whiskies.

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