Chieftain’s 1999 Glendullan 11 Year Old – Review

*Thanks to the good folks at Impex Beverages for the sample.

Yet another distillery under Diageo’s extremely large umbrella that’s rarely seen outside its role as a blend ingredient. In Glendullan’s case, it has been bottled under the Singleton name since 2007 as a 12 year old, but not currently in any other distillery release. Funny thing about the “Singleton” name, initially the Singleton came from Auchroisk, but that expression was last bottled in 2001. Diageo re-launched the “brand” in 2006, this time around in 3 different guises. The Singleton of Glendullan is only found in the U.S. , while the Singleton of Dufftown is available only in the UK and duty-free markets…and then there’s the Singleton of Glen Ord which only graces the shelves of Asia.

Websters defines singleton as “an individual member or thing distinct from others grouped with it,” so I’m not sure naming three whiskies “The Singleton” really captures the spirit of the word, but there you go. This release from Ian Macleod’s Chieftain’s range was matured in a re-fill hogshead, and since its 349 bottles sprang from just one cask, I suppose it really is something of a singleton.

The Nose:  A soft, subtle nose with Amaretti cookies and marshmallow, soft malt and light baking spices. Faint vegetal, herb-y notes add a nice counterpoint, a bit of juniper and wet grass.

The Palate:  Thick almost syrupy mouthfeel that’s initially floral-y sweet but quickly shows unsweetened chocolate and burnt nuts. Increasingly peppery and tannic, there’s more clove-y woodiness than 11 years would lead you to believe.

The Finish:   Shortish and peppery, with continued drying clove and dark cocoa.

Thoughts:  An interesting malt, the nose is very soft, very subtle while the palate is more aggressive. While not really present at all on the nose, there was a lot more tannic wood on the palate than I was expecting. Both the nose and the palate have their merits, but the dis-jointedness between the two was surprising.

Chieftain’s 1999 Glendullan 11 Year Old, Speyside, non chill-filtered

46% ABV, non chill-filtered

Score:  81

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