E-pistle 2008/14 – A Dozen Recent Duncan Taylor Bottlings

By Bert Bruyneel, Belgium

Since Duncan Taylor is a regular supplier of ‘stunners’ (< € 50,-), I am always highly interested in tasting their ‘newies’. As you guys know, I am on a continuous search for Stunners to share with you. Here under, you will find my personal appreciation of some recent Duncan Taylor bottlings. I hope you enjoy, and I wish you happy hunting… An interesting thing about the independents is that they often allow us to discover some obscure malts.  I mean… names one hardly finds on the shelves (Glenallachie, Dailluaine, …). The kind of things nobody is interested in on a first view. On a second view however, these obscure distilleries also produce their beauties (cf. the Glentauchers in my previous Stunner Report), it’s just less obvious to discover them. I can’t repeat it enough: it’s all a question of tasting as many different things as possible… Or as we Malt Maniacs say: ‘Quaestio aqua vitae perfectum, per ardua ad nauseam‘…

Inchgower 15yo 1992/2008 (46%, DT NC2)
Nose: pulp of beets, malty, quiet clean, some mineral notes.
Palate: some spices and slightly creamy, malty sweet, remains clean, grassy. Also remains very clean in the finish.
Verdict: 84 points – just a bit to clean to my personal taste.

Dailuaine 13yo 1994/2007 (46%, DT NC2)
Nose: a candystore, malty sweet, clean and mineral.
Palate: slightly spicy and creamy, some marshmellow, clean and mineral, green apples. Gets complexer and deeper in the finish.
Verdict: 85 points – a good daily drinking whisky.

Glenallachie 12yo 1995/2007 (46%, DT NC2)
Nose: lactic, clean, mineral, gas of a lighter.
Palate: a little spicy and some cream, nice mouthfeel, clean, mineral, green fruit. The finish is clean and linear, also some alcoholic tones.
Verdict: 83 points.

Glendullan 11yo 1996/2008 (46%, DT NC2)
Nose: pretty clean, strawy nose, grassy, a bit sterile.
Palate: spicy and some cream, remains clean, grassy, malty sweet, sour apples, a nice but not to complex finish.
Verdict: 83 points – a nice easy-drinkable whisky.

Clynelish 13yo 1994/2007 (46%, DT NC2)
Nose: dried flowers, pretty clean and chalky, malty.
Palate: smooth and medium creamy, nice mouth feel, some smokiness, malty sweet. A nice and sweet finish, nice complexity.
Verdict: 84 points – a nice bottling.

Caperdonich 39yo 1968/2008 (56%, DT, C# 2608, 167 Bts.)
Nose: nice old nose, a pinch of woodiness, dry leather, some vanilla.
Palate: spicy and some cream, slightly alcoholic, vanilla, malty sweet. Enjoy a full crafty old Speyside finish.
Verdict: 90 points – Still very punchy and fresh to be a 39yo whisky.

Caperdonich 39yo 1968/2008 (51.8%, DT, C# 2610, 108 Bts.)
Nose: needs time, a bit woody initially, gets more ‘old Speyside’ later, honey, vanilla, oak.
Palate: spicy and somewhat creamy, some woodiness, a bit of ashes, goes open with time. The finish is nice, but lacks a bit of complexity.
Verdict: 87 points.

Caperdonich 37yo 1970/2008 (43.3%, DT ‘Lonach’)
Nose: waxy, lots of old Speyside, a nice sweetness/honey, slight floral notes, some vanilla.
Palate: starts smooth, gets to spicy, nice mouth feel, herbal, nice sweetness, honey, vanilla. Nice full finish, not to complex but very pleasant.
Verdict: 91 points – my kinda stuff …

Glen Grant 37yo 1970/2008 (51.5%, DT, C# 3480, 435 Bts.)
Nose: deep sherry, dark chocolate, some bitterness.
Palate: very heavy sherry but not over-sherried, smooth and creamy. Gets more bitter and some woody tones come through.
Verdict: 86 points.

Glen Grant 35yo 1972/2008 (53.4%, DT, C# 1643, 104 Bts.)
Nose: oak, vanilla, a little sharpness, nice old Speyside.
Palate: spicy and rather dry, oak, orange, vanilla, more ‘Speyside’ in the second taste.
Finish opens beautifully with a nice old Speyside development.
Verdict: 91 points.

Glen Grant 35yo 1972/2007 (53.5%, DT, C# 1641, 121 Bts.)
Nose: leather, orange, vanilla, nice maturity.
Palate: spicy, pretty dry, oak, vanilla, nice old Speyside, some citrus, a nice one. Enjoy a beautiful, full, long and complex finish.
Verdict: 92 points.

Tomatin 42yo 1965/2008 (52.1%, DT, C# 20942, 211 Bts.)
Nose: herbal, a very ‘old’ nose, needs some time in the air, a bit ‘dirty’, very special but really pleasant.
Palate: surprisingly punchy, very nice drink, honey, a fruit basket, tropical. A powerful nice old Speyside-finish, really beautiful.
Verdict: 95 points – special, but an absolute winner to me.

If I look at recent price evolutions, another interesting thing about independents is that they allow us to drink older whiskies to prices much more affordable than what the official bottlings can offer us for the same kind of whiskies.

Anyhow, my next Stunner Report will be in the next issue of Malt Maniacs.