Bought: Whiskysite, Holland, 16th February 2015
89/100 – Whisky Bible 2009
84/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)
Quite why this whisky was named after a sleepy little village in Surrey, England is a mystery. I suspect it probably wasn’t. I’ve been to Milford and having a stiff drink wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. Boredom – yes! Whisky – no! But, since the Wilson Distillery (aka Willowbank) in New Zealand that created this whisky closed in 2000, I wont be able to contact them to find out the origin of the name.
I had to go back to the 2009 edition of the Whisky Bible to find a review. Scoring 89/100, the author Jim Murray isn’t so fond of the nose but says of the taste “fresh, grassy barley with a mild metallic hardness” and the finish “waves of vanilla, soft spices, and that continuing grassy, metallic theme”. That might not sound complimentary but he scores both elements 23/25, which is an excellent mark. The overall score of 89 classifies this malt as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”.
When I first acquired this bottle I thought it was a distillery release dating back to 2000 or earlier but I’ve since discovered it’s by the independent bottler ‘The New Zealand Whisky Collection’. The Milford range (10yo, 15yo, 18yo and 20yo) is listed on their website as ‘discontinued’ but in production from 2004 to 2012. They add “the Milford range of single malts were released by our predecessors, the Prestons. These were the first whiskies to be released after the closure of the Willowbank distillery, and gained universal acclaim.”
Tasting notes kindly left on Whiskybase:
Nose: The nose is floral and a bit fruity. I detect vanilla, but also honey and some citrus fruit. Grass and grain. Really fresh, actually. Rather complex, promising nose.
Taste: Real gentle and smooth, I taste vanilla, honey and some lemon and coconut milk. Hazelnut and some pepper. I think it is too diluted, a higher abv would have given it more character.
Finish: Quite short, peppery spices, vanilla sweet, then dry.
Here’s Ben of ‘A Dram A Day’ with his thoughts on You Tube (February 2016):