Scotch

Glenmorangie Virtual Tasting with Global Master Brand Ambassador David Blackmore

I recently had a chance to host Glenmorangie’s David Blackmore for a virtual tasting of the distillery’s Original, 18-Year-Old, and Bacalta expressions.  In addition to tasting some wonderful whiskies, we discussed Glenmorangie’s wood management, secondary maturation and more.  Enjoy!

Please excuse the echo in the beginning of the video.  It corrects itself a couple of minutes in.

A Review of The Singleton of Glendullan Series


The Singleton brand of whiskies refers to several Speyside distilleries, including Glen Ord, Dufftown, and Glendullan.  It’s a bit of odd branding, and I can see where it can be a touch confusing.  Here we’re looking at the Glendullan portfolio, newly available in the US market.  Glendullan isn’t a well-known distillery, though it’s not new.  It was founded back in 1897 in Dufftown.  Most of the whisky is matured in American oak, though some European oak is also used.  I love tasting through a distillery’s whiskey portfolio side-by-side.  It’s a great way to dive into the distillery style, giving you an intimate look at how the spirit matures over time.  

All whiskies in the distillery’s US portfolio (12-, 15-, and 18-year-old) are bottled at 40% abv.  At the moment, they’re only available in CA, FL, NY, CO, TX, PA, WA and NJ markets.  

GLENDULLAN 12

The youngest and lightest of the bunch, Glendullan 12-year-old is very reminiscent of Glenlivet 12.  The nose features hints of slightly caramelized orchard fruits, lemon zest, honey and very light spice.  The entry is a bit subdued, but opens to welcoming crisp apples and orange blossom honey, with vanilla pod and light spices developing.  The finish is short and leaves a spiced honey note.  This is an uncomplicated, easy-sipping entry level whisky.  $34.99  7/10

GLENDULLAN 15

A couple more years of maturation add a bit more richness.  That means more refined fruits on the nose, as well as toffee, fig preserves and spice.  I find the 15 doesn’t have as much citrus zestiness on the nose as the 12.  Taste-wise, the low abv means a slightly watered down entry.  In terms of flavors, honeyed tree fruit, dried fruits and candied pecans dominate, accented by some oak spice and mulled wine notes.  The finish is a bit longer than its younger brother, with hints of zesty malt, honey and spice.  Overall, a bit darker and richer malt that features more dried fruits and spice.  $49.99  7.5/10

GLENDULLAN 18

Described as “balanced, light and elegant” on the bottle, Glendullan 18 is the oldest of the distillery’s US offerings.  The nose is full of rich and spicy cinnamon cake, stewed apples & pears, and dried figs & raisins.  Hints of vanilla, toasted almonds and seville oranges with a touch of dried tobacco.  The palate is the richest of the three expressions, with wave after wave of dark caramel and dried fruits with hints of vanilla creme brulee, peanut brittle and leather.  The finish is long, featuring dark fruit jam and spices, turning a bit dry.  I think the 18-year-old mark is where this whisky starts to find its sweet spot.  Glendullan 18 is rich and full of dried fruits and spice.  Nicely done.  $79.99  8.5/10

Thanks to Diageo for the samples.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Johnnie Walker Blender’s Batch Triple Grain American Oak Blended Whisky Review

New from Casa de Walker is the limited edition Triple Grain American Oak.  It’s the third entry in the Johnnie Walker’s experimental Blender’s Batch series, and first released here in the U.S. The Triple Grain American Oak (TGAO) is made up of three grain whiskies (wheat, barley, and corn) including some from Port Dundas, and two malt whiskies from the Cardu and Mortlach distilleries.  The whiskies here are at least 10 years old, and have matured in American oak casks.  

This blend is said to be inspired by Master Blender Jim Beveridge’s interest in American whiskies.  The last new Johnnie Walker expression I tried, Select Casks Rye Cask Finish, also tried to cater to the American whiskey drinker.  I really enjoyed that blend.  I’d love to see rye whiskey barrels used more in Scotland.  Johnnie Walker TGAO is bottled at 41.3% abv and can be found for about $30 a bottle, while supplies last.

Information from the brand suggests it was designed to be a mixer in cocktails, but it’s really nice on its own.  On the nose, I pick up – no smoke!  A rare deviation for Johnnie Walker.  Instead we get candied fruit, vanilla, caramel and a light floral note.  The palate is creamy, and combined with the vanilla on entry comes across as vanilla pudding.  Some caramel apple and spice follow, with hints of buttered wheat toast and very, very light whisp of wood smoke (maybe I’m imagining).  The finish is short and clean – sweet grain with just a touch of spice.

Add this to my list of Scotch whiskies for bourbon drinkers to try.  Sweet fruit and vanilla are the stars here, and are two notes usually found in bourbon.  There’s virtually zero peat here, which I know seems to turn off a lot people thinking of getting into Scotch.  I have to reiterate that Johnnie Walker Blender’s Batch Triple American Oak is a one-time release and very well priced for what it delivers.   8.5/10

Thanks to Diageo for the sample!  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.