It’s a bittersweet farewell to Milam & Greene’s Castle Hill Series in 2023, as the final barrels of its Dickel-sourced whiskey have now been turned out, blended, and bottled. Sure, last year Heather Greene said that Castle Hill Batch 2 was probably the final Castle Hill release, but this time she says for sure that’s it — all the barrels have been emptied. Only now as we wind things up did I figure out what Castle Hill refers to: It’s the Austin hill upon which the state capitol building is located, the highest point in downtown.
As for Castle Hill the whiskey, Batch 3 carries a 15 year old age statement, with most of those years being spent in Tennessee. (The Texas heat would have emptied those barrels far too quickly; they spent just five months here.) 20 barrels were turned out, yielding a paltry average of just 17.5 gallons per barrel — a 67% angel’s share loss.
Let’s give it a try.
The age of the whiskey is finally making itself known, with tannin creeping in on the nose alongside notes of pepper, oak staves, and macerated figs and dates. Things take a turn once it reaches the lips, though: Rich and unctuous, the palate pumps out sweet maple syrup, raspberry jam, more mashed figs, and plenty of buttery vanilla. Still, the whiskey is starting to get up there in age, showing some austerity and plenty of barrel char clinging to the experience, but there’s so much decadent, syrupy sweetness that all that is kept in check. Dates and figs linger, all lightly spiced and influenced by lingering notes of char, dark chocolate, and hazelnut. Nutella, anyone?
It’s not my favorite of the Castle Hill releases to date, but it’s definitely a winner — and a fitting end to a stellar trilogy.
A- / $200 / milamandgreene.com