july’s malt of the month

Did you know that Miltonduff is the 7th largest working distillery in Scotland? I bet you didn’t, and I bet that many of you have never heard of this distillery either! Well let’s change that right now.

The story begins in 1824 when an illegal farm distillery by the name of Milton in Scotland’s Speyside region was granted a license to distill, following the passing of the Excise Act. After its founders, Robert Bain and Andrew Peary received the license they added the word ‘Duff’ to the end of the name. The Duff family was the actual owners of the land on which the distillery sat.

The distillery worked steadily until 1935 when it was purchased by Hiram Walker Gooderham and Worts’. The owners who eventually became known as Chivas Brothers needed a steady flow of malt for their burgeoning Ballantine’s Blend. Most of Miltonduff’s malt production is still used for Ballantines with the remainder going directly into Chivas’s numerous other blends.

As a result, official distillery bottling’s are rare to non-existent. However Gordon & MacPhail (G&M), Scotland’s Oldest Independent Bottlers, have a unique relationship with the present owners. G&M have the exclusive right to bottle small quantities of malt every year with consent from the distillery. They do this under a pre-approved label that has been in use for many years. I particularly like the Miltonduff label for its traditional and classic tones of gold and green with a lovely picture of the distillery.

The end result is a win-win for everybody. Chivas Brothers do not have to market and sell yet another malt, and can instead concentrate on selling their money making blended Scotches. G&M get to do what they do best, that is bottling rare and unique whiskies and bringing them to an appreciative audience who, have not been swayed by big brand marketing companies. Vine & Table gets to have a very rounded selection of whiskies that include well known brand names along with many lesser known malts. And finally you the consumer, who without specialist retailers like ourselves, would never have the pleasure of indulging in more esoteric malts.

So how does it taste? This 10 year old has all of the attributes of a classic Speyside malt, light yet firm in body with notes of summer flowers, orange marmalade and buttery fudge. The use of sherry casks is clear but the sherry character never dominates. It has a good finish with just a hint of pepper and spice. Bottling strength is 86 proof.

I have long liked this expression since I was first introduced to it on early 2009. The price for this whisky is very affordable in my opinion and will not leave you reeling from sticker shock as some other rare malts have a tendency to do!


Miltonduff 10yr Single Malt Scotch (G&M)



Denis Lynch

About Denis Lynch

I am a true homegrown Irishman hailing from the only county you really need to know about, Cork. Whiskey, beer, wine and all manner of spirits are in my blood (figuratively speaking of course!). I first started my career in my Great Aunty Maisey’s pub in New Tipperary, Donoughmore, pouring pints and small drops to the auld lads after the fair. Little did I think back then that I would be taking a short hop, skip and a jump over to the U.S of A. But here I am and I have been with Vine & Table since the beginning. I am now the stores Beverage Manager and Spirits Buyer. I like to think that I have found my niche here in the US. I have a great love for all things spirits-wise and have developed our offerings here at Vine & Table to include the best Single Malt selection in Indiana. Pop in and see me for a chinwag and a small drop next time you are in Carmel. Slainte, Denis
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2 Responses to july’s malt of the month

  1. John Dattilo says:

    I recently purchased Glengoyne single malt scotch whisky, which I enjoy. How does
    Miltonduff compare? Also, which mixer would you recommend?

  2. Denis Lynch Denis Lynch says:


    Miltonduff has a lot more sherry in the mix, resulting in more pronounced fruit, marmalade etc where the Glengoyne tends to be lighter and more delicate.

    As for the mixer, water is all i would use.


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