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

November 24, 2015


The new Deverons

Macduff used to be sold as ‘Glen Deveron’, but the malt was just rechristened ‘The Deveron’, I couldn’t tell you why. In France, Glen Deveron’s always been relatively ‘budget’, but some versions had been pleasantly light and kind of refreshing.

The only scary aspect of these new babies by Bacardi is their strengths. But let’s see, some great work has already been done on Craigellachie or Aberfeldy… Oh, and Brackla… BTW I find the packaging stunning.

The Deveron 10 yo (40%, OB, France only, +/-2015) Two stars and a half Colour: gold. Nose: it is a light, slightly smoky, and very toasty/malty whisky, a wee bit in the style of Aberlour 10 yo, with also raisins, overripe apples, a touch of mint and a touch of honey. A little harmless so far, but blend drinkers may find this is a nice stepping stone towards the amazing world of single malts (hey, you’re sounding like a 1980 brochure, S.!) Mouth: light, easy, but not weak – and neither is it dull – with good maltiness, a touch of orange liqueur, a drop of honey, a spoonful of raisins, and just a wee bit of cardboard. The body’s a bit thin, though, but the profile is very pleasant. Malt that tastes like malt. Finish: a little short, on toasted bread and raisins, plus more malt. Comments: all fine, only the thinness will prevent me from going up to 80+. SGP:341 - 79 points.

The Deveron 12 yo (40%, OB, +/-2015) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: why would we, as Frenchmen, rather have the 10 as an exclusivity? This has more depth, more complexity, more elegance, more herbs, peelings, green tea, flowers, bread… But it remains a little light and, well evanescent. Mouth: ah, more character! It’s even got a coastal side, with this funny blend of metal and seaweed, plus a very excellent phenolic side that’s sometimes to be found in older HPs or even Pulteneys. Herbal teas (I can think of rosehip and honeysuckle). Cauliflower dumplings. Very very good old style! Finish: a bit short again, and getting drier as often, but at least you’re remembering you just had some very good malt whisky. Comments: I’ll say it, this is a huge surprise. The world of thirsty men and women NEEDS a full-strength version of this!!! I’m almost about to start an online petition. SGP:352 - 85 points.

The Deveron 18 yo (40%, OB, +/-2015) Four stars This just cannot be better than the 12, especially since it was bottled at 40% as well (tsk tsk). Colour: gold. Nose: ho-ho! Oils. Sunflower, grape pips… And fresh walnuts, cider apples, graphite oil, a touch of furniture polish… Well, on the palate, this could be quite glorious – or weak and cardboardy. I know, some breathless suspense yet again… Mouth: a cruel dilemma. Do I like this better than the 12, because of these raisins and other dried fruits? Or do I prefer the 12, because it’s more old-skool and less consensual? Honey, malt, ripe apples, brioche, raisins… Indeed, that’s to be seen elsewhere, while the 12 was more idiosyncratic, so to speak. The jury’s still out. Finish: medium, rather more candied than the others. Raisins cooked in honey and apple juice, plus some cinnamon. Comments: totally excellent. Just a little more oomph, please! SGP:451 - 85 points.

Good, one indie Macduff and we’re done. These new Deverons gave me faith and hope!

Macduff 24 yo 1989/2013 (53.3%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, sherry, 516 bottles)

Macduff 24 yo 1989/2013 (53.3%, Cadenhead, Small Batch, sherry, 516 bottles) Four stars I know, I already tasted the 26 yo bottled this year in the Authentic Collection, but you see, sometimes we just don’t do things in order at WF Towers. Agreed, an understatement. Colour: amber. Nose: more Christmas-cake-y than the most Christmas-cake-y of all Christmas cakes. Dried pears, bananas, figs, raisins, dates, angelica, sour cherries, all that on a bed of scoria and bitter chocolate. O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine… Ach, excuse me. With water: … Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit, Nein auch im Winter… So yeah, fir wood and needles! Mouth (neat): that Macduff takes sherry well is well known, but in fact, in this case, things got rather less fruitcake-y than usual. Black pepper, bitter chocolate, strong black tea, peppermint… With water: a spicy grog… O Tannenbaum, wie oft hat schon zur Winterszeit ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut… O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum… Finish: mulled wine! Oranges, cinnamon, raisins, star anise, vanilla… Comments: another sherried one that makes you speak German. This baby gibt Mut und Kraft zu jeder Zeit! SGP:561 - 87 points.

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







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