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When the Dories Well was discovered in the Speyside region, some genius said, "Hey, we should build a distillery here." Good idea. IDV bought the site in 1970 and built the distillery here in 1974. Starting in 1978, pretty much all of it went into J&B. Their first bottled single malt to go on sale is the one we're tasting today, The Singleton, which hit the market in 1986. This one is from a mini I purchased at auction; it is an Australian import and has the year 1976 on it. Although there is no age statement on the bottle, I presume this is about 10 years old.
The colour is a light-to-medium copper. Rich, heavy malt on the nose, as you would expect from a 1970s distillation. Classic umami notes of beef stock, damp forest floor and Christmas pudding. Toasted oak. You can tell these are sherry casks all the way. Canned peaches. Buttered toast. Becomes maltier, and with a hint of peat, with water. Lovely.
On the palate there are similar notes, plus some peppery spices, more baked fruits (apples, pears), light sherry, various berries (blue, straw, rasp) and blood orange. A tiny hint of smoke. Water brings all those notes forward, and adds a bit of spice. Very smooth and delicious.
The finish is long with more toasted oak, plus raspberries and more of those umami notes. If you can find something like this, and not pay too much for it at auction (Auchroisk is not very collectible) then go for it. These old 1970s distillates are like a time machine to another era - my understanding is that the Flora & Fauna bottling (also 10 years old) is much lighter. Too bad.