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Nowadays, depending on where you are on the globe, you can buy a bottle of Singleton from one of three Diageo distilleries: Glen Ord, Dufftown or Glendullan. Why they ever chose one brand to represent three different distilleries, I’ll never understand. But as singleton is basically Diageo’s answer to budget malts like Glenfiddich or Glenlivet, no one really seems to care. Until the dawn of the millennium, yet another distillery was part of this one-size-fits-all brand: Auchroisk. Apart from their standard 10yo contribution, they also had vintage releases of 1974 (first year of production) to 1985 in the Singleton line-up. Today I’m giving the 1975 vintage a try, above the label it proudly states: ‘Mature and Mellow’. And oh boy how I dislike whiskies that are presented as ‘Mellow’. Most of the time that is just a cheap excuse for whiskies that are at best ‘Acceptable’.
Description: distilled in 1975, matured in Spanish oak and likely bottled at age 17 in 1992 for the OB Singleton range.
Nose: more than meets the eye: clearly sherry influenced sherry, caramel, notes of white port, cork (bottle came with a turn screw), varnish, and nori (seaweed wrap from sushi). After some time to breath it develops vague notes of red cheddar and orange zest.
Mouth: a meaty body, soft and malty at first taste. However a solid jolt chemical imitation orange backed up with a nudge of chili pepper comes rolling in.
Finish: drying, caramel and orange zest.
Verdict: with the ‘Mellow’ on the label I feared for an uninspired generic malt whisky, what I got is by far superior to the contemporary Singleton whiskies. The nose is interesting and the palate, though a bit too synthetic for my taste, is original. But by god, it is too shallow for a 17yo whisky, so I would definitely want to remove the ‘Mature’ from the label