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Milford single malt was distilled in New Zealand’s Willowbank Distillery (also known as Wilson Distillery), which ceased operations in 1997. The distillery was established in 1974 by the Baker family. In 1981 the distillery was acquired by Seagram, then major player on the alcoholic beverages market, and soon its single malt was introduced under Lammerlaw brand. Timing wasn’t great, the industry experienced downturn and Willowbank closed in 1997 and was dismantled in the following years. The New Zealand Single Malt Whisky Company was formed to secure the remaining stock, roughly 80000 liters and in the early 2000s launched the Milford brand. Milford 1989 is a single barrel bottling from 2010. It comprises whisky aged in ex-bourbon cask no. 148 and bottled at natural strength of 49.5% abv.
Nose: oaky and earthy, forest floor, wet sand, vanilla, caramel, apples, pears, hints of hay and delicate briny notes.
Palate: fruity and oaky, apples, pears, gooseberries, lemon peel, vanilla, toffee, hints of pepper and ginger and touch of licorice.
Finish: fairly long and pretty spicy, pepper, ginger, lemon grass, hints of vanilla and lingering oaky dryness.