Dufftown Glenlivet 8 years 40%

Like the Aberlour Glenlivet, this is an older bottling, bottled in the 80ies.

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Nose: Dark toffee and dried cranberries. With a lot of water it acquires some maltiness and a hint of fresh fruit.

Palate: More dark toffee and some milk chocolate. Negligible development with water.

Comments: Does nothing to change my impression of Dufftown distillery; They make perfectly decent, but incredibly boring whisky.

Balvenie 1974 25 years 46.9%

Cask number 3209.

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Nose: The first impression is fruity and flowery. Vanilla, tinned fruit salad, cedar wood and dry oaky bitterness follows. Water brings out apple pie with cinnamon, a pie with a somewhat soggy crust.

Palate: Banana and oak, clear malty notes. Dry oakish bitterness on the palate as well. Water doesn’t make much difference, the oak turns greener. The finish has something reminicent of calvados.

Comments: Quite nice, but doesn’t quite make the grade. I can’t help think price/performance. It’s nice, yes, but not THAT nice. My main gripe is with the dry oaky bitterness permeating the whole. But would I go for a second dram if offered?  You betcha.

Thanks to Geir Tore for the sample and the picture.

Kininvie 17 years Batch 001 42.6%

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Nose: Toffee, rose water, dry birch wood. With water dried raspberries, green jelly babies, blackboard chack and a hint of aniseed.

Palate: Half-rotted wood, but also something fruity. Somewhat more bitter with water added, and the impression of decay is lessened.

Comments: My first reaction when taking a sip was “Ouch”. That’s not really a reaction you want, to put it that way. The nose is really very good, but the taste is just not working for me at all. With the reservation that it was tasted in the middle of the 7 Stills Tour of Dufftown, the only other single Kininvie I’ve had was much better.

Dufftown 1981 Old Malt Cask Advance Sample 50%

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20 years old, distilled October 1981, bottled January 2002, sherry butt, DL ref. 533.

Nose: Surprisingly fresh fruitiness, but also raisins, tobacco and oak.

Palate: Heavily sherried, dry oak. The more water I add, the more it tastes of dust (however contradictory that may seem). My thouhts go to old dunnage warehouses full of casks, to the corner where a small window lets in the sunlight, drying out the nearest cask and heating the dust up.

Comments: Somewhat too oaky, but otherwise one of the more interesting DUfftowns I’ve had (though that’s not necessarily saying much).

Mortlach 1992 13 years Dun Bheagan 43 %

Distilled November 1992, bottled 2006. Casks numbered 8572 and 8574. 750 bottles from two hogsheads. Sample from, well, I cannot remember.

Nose: Dry wood, coriander, pears, cucumber.

Palate: Malt, vannilin, bitter almonds.

Comments: Takes a lot of water considering it’s only 43%. It’s always interesting to taste Mortlach from something other than ex-sherry casks, but this is not the best example I’ve had. A bit middling, both in terms of complexity and in terms of how the flavours push my buttons subjectively.