I try, I really do…I want to be blown away by younger Speyside malts but the reality is unless it’s a high alcohol, sh-sh-sh-sh sh-sh sherry bomb like Aberlour’s A’bundh, I tend to like them, appreciate them and…not be blown away by them.
Dufftown’s Glendullan was apparently the favored whisky of King Edward VII, and while Eddie might not have been the most politically potent monarch around, He could be a fairly liberal guy and was generally well-liked…perhaps he was liberal with his Scotch. In any case, Glendullan, while perhaps more well known for working in big blends like Bell’s, Dewars, and Johnnie Walker, has a select range of single malts with The Singleton 12 Year Old being the most widely recognized. Aged in both American and European Oak, The Singleton is solid Speysider and part of Diageo’s “Classic Malts Selection“.
The Nose: At first whiff, a pretty winey, sherried nose, a little rum raisin cake with a touch of pear cider. There are nice subtle malt notes and a few sugared almonds in there as well. There’s also more oak than I expected, you can almost smell the tannins.
The Palate: A rich mouth feel, with more early sherry notes. Nice sweetness to the beginning, candied ginger which fades into some burnt sugar, almost burnt peanut brittle notes. There’s a back-of-the-palate spicy green bitterness that’s really hard to place, maybe it’s raw ginger. Again, there’s a nice amount of oak and tannic dryness here.
The Finish: Smooth and not inclined to hang around for too long. The ginger and the oak are there but mostly it’s a pleasant spicy-sweet tingle.
Thoughts: The Singleton is a fine malt, nicely sherried, and even a bit more mature and oak-y than I expected for a 12 year old. That ginger-y quality was unique and pleasant and provided a nice balance between the fruit and wood notes. I see this often for around $30, which seems a really pretty good value. It seems like it would a be great “everyday” scotch, especially good over (gasp! heresy!) ice on a warm afternoon.
The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year Old, Speyside