This is the fourth in a series of 24 reviews, the result of seizing an opportunity when the LCBO dropped the price of this set by 50% in early 2020. FOMO wins again.
This is probably my first ever experience with Dufftown. From what I have read, the distillery, originally opened in 1895 and now owned by Diageo, produces malts under the names Dufftown and Singleton. I have very little information about this particular expression, but considering the lightness of its colour I strongly suspect this was an ex-bourbon cask maturation and I doubt that there is any caramel added.
This expression is reviewed in a Highland Whisky Glass in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Extremely fruity nose. Becomes rich and syrupy, with a slightly spirity note. There is also some vanilla and a hint of butterscotch. Something dusty. Not complex, but a “pretty” nose. Water dampens the brighter notes and brings forward some mid-range notes. I think I preferred the nose without water. (21/25)
Sweet arrival. A bit spirity, with a sour / bitter development. Some apple and lemon. Water adds bitterness. (20.5/25)
Medium long, pepper, slightly bitter, astringent. Water brings out a little lemon pith. (21.5/25)
The nose and the palate compliment each other, but there is a touch too much bitterness.
Score: Neat - 85 /100 With Water: 84/100
This is not a bad malt. I think a few more years in the cask might help it to develop complexity. It’s good enough that I would be interested in trying (not necessarily buying) other expressions from Dufftown.