Behind the sixteenth window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Macduff 10yo batch 8, bottled at 50.2% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. You may never have heard of Macduff, though you may know their range through its commercial name: The Deveron. The reason might me because Macduff was trademarked by DCL, Diageo’s old name, so they had to find another one to sell their single malts. It’s a young distillery, created in 1960 by Marty Dyke, James Stirrat, George Crawford and Brodie Hepburn (also known for his involvement in Deanston and Tullibardine) and now owned by John Dewar and Sons (Bacardi). One of the distinctive characteristics of Macduff is that they have 5 stills: two wash-stills and three spirit-stills, with the lyne arms of four of them bent in a peculiar way, and the fifth one being U-shaped in order to fit in the still room. Their spirit is mostly used for the William Lawson blend, but a good part is still used as single malt under The Deveron (or Glen Deveron) name. This bottling can be found for £59.95 on Master of Malt as of today.
Coldorak: Quite sharp and astringent at first, with caramel, pencil shavings, some solvent (maybe white spirit?), chalk and sandalwood. Quite aggressive nose. Hints of citrus on the background. Reduction gives it a more mineral nose with maybe a touch of honey.
Ainulindalë: This one has a very spirity nose to it. There’s that and hay, a malty side, a young side. Behind it, some sort of apricot and bubble gum, even strawberries. To top it off, sweet buttery custard.
Coldorak: Sweet and spicy arrival, a bit hot, with caramel, honey, chilli-pepper, ginger (quite a bit). Mid-palate, the texture becomes a bit oily and the taste moves to peach, apple, apricot and oak. On the back-palate, you can find notes of dried herbs. With water, the sweetness is reinforced and the spices are less present: still there, but less prickly. Some oak may be a bit more present too.
Ainulindalë: The mouth starts off with the spirity side, almost junipery. It then grows strongly to caramel and fruit, I’d probably say peach and apricot. At the apricot’s apex it then goes to strawberry cake with custard. The mouth feel is quite waxy, oily, very good in terms of texture.
Coldorak: Medium long and warm, on ginger and still some sweetness and oak behind.
Ainulindalë: It finishes medium length, all on strawberry cake.
Coldorak: £60 for a 50cl bottle of a 10yo single malt may be a bit expensive, but this dram is quite fun, full of youth and vigor, and a way better value than several drams tasted earlier this month (Speyburn and Longmorn I’m looking at you!). I like it.
Ainulindalë: A nice dram, one that has to be good with desert. Sweet yet not disgustingly so, and quite good to nose and mouth. The texture is a very good thing for me, as it was waxy without being so much mouth coating and hence overpowering.