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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

May 19, 2014


Quick verticales, today Dufftown

Back from Limburg, it was great to bump into many friends again. Hugs to all. Today let’s have a few older Dufftowns that were bottled a few years ago. This time, and because we'd like to remain quick and concise, we’ll add water only when the whisky is asking for it.

Dufftown 12 yo 1999/2011 (56.7%, Mick and Tom's Bluebird Selection, hogshead, cask #13084, 304 bottles) Three stars and a halfColour: pale white wine. Nose: it’s fully naked spirit, and yet it’s not too eau-de-vie-ish, although there are traces of kirsch. Some porridge, some muesli, a few rocks, cherries… All very naked indeed and pretty barleyish. So not a brilliant nose but that’s pretty normal I, this context, the palate should do all the talking, let’s see… Mouth: plain and pure fresh garden fruits plus a few jellybabies (orange flavoured) and a lot of barley sugar. Good body. Finish: quite long, very clean, fresh and fruity. Comments: malt whisky au naturel. If you like them young, fresh and fruity, this is for you. Some bottlers would have done a finishing on this, that would have been a mistake in my opinion. SGP:641 - 83 points.

Dufftown 25 yo 1984/2009 (58.1%, Signatory for Waldhaus am See, cask #81, 546 bottles) Three stars and a half Colour: deep amber. Nose: it’s a very rich, rather flinty and gamy kind of sherry. Bags of bitter oranges, some tobacco, ham, then a few struck matches, coal stove, some grass and quite a lot of chocolate. Mouth: heavy sherry and fruit stones, which imparts a small soapiness. It’s actually rather bitter almonds, perhaps. Goes on with molasses, ham in honey sauce, Campari, marzipan and… More Campari. A beast, a beast! Finish: long and even more on oranges. Campari-Cointreau, are you allowed to mix both? Comments: a very heavy beast, not easy to tame. I enjoy this wild side, but I would say the whole is the epitome of balance. SGP:451 - 83 points.
Dufftown 29 yo 1982/2011 (53.7%, Riverstown, hogshead, cask #18648, 212 bottles) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: it’s a naked, malty, very natural one again, so more or less the 1999 with more age and a little more vanilla. Muesli and garden fruits, ripe apples, then.. wait, after just two minutes, some rather beautiful touches of mangos start to rise… That’s a great surprise! I wouldn’t say it’s tropical malt whisky, but it’s got a tropical side indeed. Mouth: there, the mangos are here again, together with drops of thick tinned guava juice. That’s a little fleeting in a way, the rest is more ‘mundane’, with apples, grass, barley, vanilla… But I find the whole very good. Finish: long, a notch dry and grassy. And oh joy, the guavas are back in the aftertaste! Comments: quite a surprise, I’m finding some parts of what was to be found in the utterly brilliant old 8 or 10yo OBs from the 1960s and 1970s. Cool! SGP:541 - 87 points.
Let’s have another 1982…
Dufftown 1982/2010 (54.9%, Berry Bros & Rudd, cask #18582) Four stars Colour: pale gold. Nose: very very close to the Blackadder/Riverstown, this is obviously a close sister cask. Maybe a notch grassier, drier and less fruity. Less mango for sure. Mouth: we’re even closer. Maybe a little more citrusy, that’s all. Like it just as much. Finish: same. Comments: indeed, like it just as much, even if it’s a notch less ‘tropical’. SGP:541 - 87 points.
Dufftown 30 yo 1978 (46%, The Maltman, +/-2009) Four stars Watch out! These vintages can be completely wrecked and foul in my experience. Forewarned is forearmed… Colour: dark gold. Nose: ah? No, not foul, quite the contrary. I find these thick tropical fruits again, mangos, papayas and guavas, plus a rather elegant woodiness, around cedar wood, humidor, tobacco… Also a little earth and humus, which is much to my liking. Mouth: it is a notch whackier than the 1982s, with maybe a few more touches of scented soap, but that integrates well into the rest, which consists in oranges and light honeys. Finish: of medium length, on gingerbread, orange zests and a little white pepper. Comments: another very fine one, even if it’s less immediately pleasing as both 1982s. SGP:541 - 85 points.
A last one for today…
Dufftown 30yo 1977/2007 (50%, Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask, Ref #3516, 303 bottles) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: less fruits and more honeyed and pastry-like scents, with certainly quite a lot of butter cream and custard, then plenty of overripe apples and pears. Also fudge, raisins and maybe whiffs of sea air. Where do those come from? Mouth: same profile, with maybe more bitter oranges, zests, just a touch of paraffin, then honey, fudge, raisins and sweet malt. Not much standing out, but that creates a feeling of fullness and coherence that’s very satisfying. Finish: quite long, rather more on citrus, with more spices in the aftertaste. Lemon, mint, pepper. Comments: an interesting bottle because of the fact that it’s sitting right in the middle of all malt whiskies, if you see what I mean. Absolutely nothing remarkable, and yet this fullness and compactness are very engaging. Very good ‘stuff’. SGP:551 - 86 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Dufftown I've tasted so far







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