Orphan Barrel’s 2020 release is Muckety-Muck, a 24-year-old single grain Scotch whisky from the shuttered Port Dundas distillery. It’s the second release whose origins come a closed Scottish distillery. Last year saw Forager’s Keep, a 26-year-old single malt from Pittyvaich. For years, the series almost exclusively featured old Kentucky bourbon. I’m glad to see the brand, owned by Diageo, explore its expansive library of aging whiskies in Scotland.
Single grain means the whisky comes from one distillery and was distilled from a cereal grain. Whereas malt whiskies are distilled using pot stills, grain whiskies are typically distilled using column stills. Established in 1810, Port Dundas was at one time the largest distillery in Scotland. Production stopped and the distillery was demolished in 2011.
Older single grain whiskies can be dreamy, and this bottling is no exception. Soft top notes of vanilla and butterscotch mingle with ripe orchard fruits on the nose. The palate mostly follows suit, sprinkling in some baking spices and lemon rind. The whisky reveals a touch of rancio on the back palate, a sign of its age. The medium length finish is warming with lingering semi-sweet notes.
For a reasonable asking price of $225, Muckety-Muck shows what a nicely aged single grain can offer, especially at its 90 proof bottling strength. Sometimes, people tend to dismiss single grain whiskies. My hope is people try it and it changes their opinion. This one is eye opening. Though it doesn’t bring me into the stratosphere like the 40-year-old Cally, Muckety-Muck certainly brings a smile to my face.
Thanks to Orphan Barrel for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.