Millstone Ménage a Trois, 46% – Zuidam Distillers

I had to check with my wife before making this statement, but it seems like Zuidam’s Ménage a Trois is the only threesome I’m ever going to get.

Apart from all lowbrow jokes on a ‘Ron de Jeremy’ level aside, let’s talk about the booze. Of course, Zuidam, Dutch distiller, some great whisky, great jenever, great liqueurs, etc. etc. etc.

This whisky is called Ménage a Trois because it’s made up of three different grains. They’ve used 33% malted barley, 33% corn and 33% rye. Those in the know might recognize this as the exact same recipe they use for their old jenevers.

Of course, Zuidam wouldn’t be Zuidam if they didn’t experiment with it and since they mash and distill it anyway, what’s to keep them from stashing some in barrels before adding herbs, spices and fruits to mature and call whisky? Nothing apparently and I’m actually rather surprised they didn’t do this earlier.

Apart from this three grain baby they’ve also just released a five grain whisky, but I’m not entirely sure what’s in it. I imagine spelt and wheat. I know Patrick van Zuidam is not a fan of using rice since that doesn’t add much to the flavour of the whisky. I’ve sent him a message on Facebook and will update this bit when he answers.

EDIT: Spelt and wheat it is. Patrick just confirmed this to me. The five grain whisky has been bottled but is still in storage to settle a bit.

The Ménage a Trois is matured for five years in American Oak, I imagine it being a refill cask previously containing bourbon, but virgin oak wouldn’t surprise me either. The internet is not exactly forthcoming with information on this one, so again, I’ll update as soon as Patrick answers!

EDIT 2: The three grain is matured in virgin oak. In hindsight, refill would’ve been much gentler to the spirit.

Millstone Ménage a Trois

Millstone Ménage a Trois

Sniff:
On the nose you directly notice the dram’s youth. Only five years in a barrel have not ironed out all the creases, but this is not a bad thing. It’s quite jenever like and has lots of grainy scents. Because of the combination it’s hard to pinpoint which grains (based on scent, of course, the label says it all). It’s not too woody but you notice the oak. It has hints of ginger and a vodka like scent of alcohol. If you inhale deeply you will notice the spirit’s fairly raw and untamed.

Sip:
The palate is somewhat sharper than I expected, but that’s the youth of the booze for you. It’s slightly more fruity too with apple and pear. Hints of white pepper, new cut oak and a treacle like sweetness.

Swallow:
The finish is a bit more fruity again with lychee and lychee peel being added to the apple and pear that was already there. There’s pepper again too, but in a very gentle, timid way. Not too long.

It’s a bit of an odd duck. While the descriptions of a young, untamed spirit might scare off lots of single malt lovers, I rather like this whisky. It’s something else from what I’m familiar with, but the flavours are all there. You have to be able to work with the youth of the whisky and I know that’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed this. Quite a bit even.

The fruity flavours that I didn’t notice on the nose work well on the palate to balance out the rawness of the spirit. Luckily, there’s some spirit flavours remaining so you can actually taste the distillate and not just the oak influence. Lovely stuff, but quite different and it might be too much out of a lot of people’s comfort zone.

Which might just be what the distillery is aiming for!

Millstone Ménage a Trois, 46%, Zuidam Distillers. Available in the better Dutch whisky shops for around € 37.50 per bottle. I know Drinks & Gifts in town here has 10cl samples

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
This entry was posted in - Grain Whisky, - World Whisky, Zuidam and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Millstone Ménage a Trois, 46% – Zuidam Distillers

  1. hallo!
    mooie site! ik wilde je attenderen op : https://www.kapitaalopmaat.nl/Whisky-2Enjoy
    wellicht kun je dit eens onder de aandacht brengen op de forums.
    bij voorbaat zeer hartelijk dank!

  2. Pingback: Millstone Ménage à Trois - Whisky Saga

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