Monday, February 7, 2011

Glendullan - who knows it?

Served a 17yr old Rum finished Murray McDavid bottle of Glendullan at the Misterhood Fiddich on Saturday. No 'ooohs and aaahs' but it sure washed down the nova lox well.

Interesting factoid: Glendullan is relatively unknown as a single malt whisky; measured in production capacity (almost 4 million litres of alcohol per year in 2008) it's actually Diageo's second-largest distillery, right after Dufftown and before Caol Ila that has the number 3 spot. Glendullan distillery is located in what's probably the busiest 'whiskytown' in the Speyside area: Dufftown. It was built there (relatively late) in 1897-1898 by William Williams & Sons Ltd., blenders from Aberdeen. In 1919  William Williams & Sons Ltd. changed their name to Macdonald, Greenlees & Williams (Distillers) Ltd. In 1926 they were taken over by the DCL, which later evolved into whisky industry giant Diageo. In 1939 .Glendullan was transferred to SMD, another predecessor of Diageo.
The old Glendullan distillery was completely refurbished in 1962, at which point two brand new stills were constructed. However, in 1972 a new distillery was built next to the old one. The new Glendullan distillery had six stills (three times as many as the old one) and both operated side by side until 1985, when the old distillery was finally closed. The whiskies produced at these two distilleries were different from each other, but nevertheless they were simply vatted together before bottling or blending.

During the late 1980's and early half of the 90's blends still accounted for circa 97% of whisky sales. 
It was only in the second half of the 1990's that the single malts category really took off. Distilleries like Glendullan and Dufftown remained mostly focused on blends for a few more years, but around the year 2007 Diageo finally reintroduced them to the market as single malts - together with Glen Ord. They all had been marketed as single malts at some point, but in recent years only Glen Ord was widely available. Oddly enough, the malt whisky from these three distilleries is now marketed under one single brand; the Singleton.  
So, there's an international component to this Singleton story... Consumers in the USA get a Glendullan 12yo when they order a Singleton, whisky drinkers in Europe receive a Dufftown 12yo, and in Asia they get Glen Ord 12yo.
Thx to Malt Madness for that -

Glen Garioch, Glen Ross

Bad joke, but great dram (and great play/movie). This relatively new bottling of a 1991 Glen Garioch is very special. Bourbon casks always make me happy, but this one has extra depth and remarkable nose. The picture is accurate in showing off that light color that i love.

One of Scotland’s oldest distilleries Glen Garioch (pronounced Geery) has been re-born with a new pair of regular whiskies and the first of a selection of small-batch bottlings, the 1991. 
Founded in 1797, the distillery is located in the picturesque town of Oldmeldrum, north-west of Aberdeen. Shut in the late 1960s, new owners, Morrison Bowmore hired a water diviner to find its own water source, and so the story began again.
Falling into the fuller flavoured category of single malts, the 1991 was matured in North American bourbon casks.
With toffee, honeycomb and butterscotch on the nose alongside a touch of heathery smokiness and orange peel, the palate has wonderful balance, with smokiness, creamy vanilla and a citric hit.