Singleton of Dufftown 12 Year old
Nice, but not quite there.
21st Nov 2011
Best price to buy online:
Tasting Notes by Toastbongo
I got a free sample of the Singleton of Dufftown 12 (one of two expressions, the other being the 15 y/o) after liking their Facebook page. If you listen to the sales guff, this is the best-tasting single malt whisky out there. Time to put that one to the test.
Nose: One reviewer rather pejoratively commented that it was like 'chewing a handful pencil-shavings with marshmallows' and although this is somewhat OTT, the nose does remind me of pencil-shavings. It's certainly very woody with perhaps a hint of sweet hay and malt. There's a touch more sweetness coming through with the addition of a tiny amount of water.
Palate: Fairly standard. Not exactly the best-tasting whisky in the world, but not offensive either. More woodiness, a touch of sugar/caramel and a little fire to warm you up. As it develops the fire recedes and it progresses quite nicely onto the finish.
Finish: There's a nice amount of sweetness and fruitiness in the finish. The fire of the first sip falls away with a very nice mouth-filling sweetness but it's lamentably short. Bit of burnt toffee at the end.
I find myself drinking more and more just to get that second or two of pleasure in the finish, but the roughness/wood-shaving aspect of the palate is drying my mouth and making it harder to enjoy that fleeting sweetness.
All in all this is a perfectly enjoyable whisky, but I don't think it can go anywhere near the title of 'best tasting whisky in the world'. If I were to come to this dram without the marketing gimmicks I'd probably have been slightly less critical. I think on further tastings I could come to like the woodiness and slightly burnt taste and I also like the bottle(!) so it gets a fairly decent 70 from me. I would have given higher if they could have drawn out that 'sweet spot' of the finish a bit longer.
Anyway, a nice everyday whisky, but don't get too excited. It's pleasantly tasty but perhaps not quite the finished article. I see this as something to be expected from a distillery that sends 97% of its output to the blenders.