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.  


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


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


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.

Cragganmore Single Malt Whisky (2016) Review

The only whisky in this year’s collection without an age statement, Cragganmore is a vatting of three cask types “chosen for flavor alone,” according to press materials.  They include both refill & rejuvenated American Oak hogsheads and ex-bodega European Oak butts.  Like the rest of the collection, Cragganmore is bottled at cask strength, or 55.7% abv in this case and retails for $600.  This marks the Speyside distillery’s sixth appearance in the Special Releases series.  How is it?

The nose has a fresh citrus quality, almost like freshly sliced tangerines. Hints of graham cracker, cinnamon sticks, honey and mint ice cream help round out the aromas. The palate starts sweet and quickly turns dry. Honey and spice cake at first. The citrus from the nose is also here, as well as light touch of brine. Things turn when chardonnay develops mid-palate, along with a touch of herbs. Oak tannins take hold going into the finish, as honey and herbs emerge. 

Cragganmore is a nicely crafted NAS whisky, but I just wasn’t blown away by it. 7/10

Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Review

Glenfarclas 21

Concluding a short vertical tasting of Glenfarclas is a look at their 21-year-old expression.  Recapping, I liked the bright fruitiness of 12-year-old Glenfarclas, but was blown away by the complexity and robustness of Glenfarclas 17-year-old.  At 21 years old, this would be the oldest Scotch I’ve tasted.  Glenfarclas has a 25, 30 and even 40 year old expression in their lineup.  I’d love to sample those one day.