Dufftown is generally known as the capital of Speyside, boasting very easy access to many of the distilleries, but not many ” General ” whisky drinkers will have heard of the Dufftown distillery, founded in 1895 by Peter Mackenzie, Richard Stockpole, John Symon and Charles MacPherson, the distillery was originally named the Dufftown-Glenlivet Distillery.
Today the distillery is owned by Diageo and is a component in the Bell’s Blends.
The distillery operates six stills and has a capacity of 6,000,000 litres, there are three wash stills with a capacity of 13,100 litres and three spirit stills with a capacity of 15,300 litres, each still also incorporates sub coolers, did you notice the wash stills are smaller than the spirit stills ?.. There is one 13 ton full Lauter mash tun and 12 stainless steel washbacks and with a minimum fermentation time of 75 hours..
That Boutique-y Whisky Company
TBWC announced on in April of 2016 that all of its products would now carry an age statement, this might seem rather obvious but at the time there was a lot of debate about how important carrying an age statement actually was. A few distilleries were dropping the age statements and while this wasn’t actually anything new it was a decision that would prove to be rather controversial..
But how important is an age statement after all? it gives a general idea of what we have in the bottle and many people believe this then gives some assurances about quality, how wrong they are !! Ok it does give an indication to the minimum age of any whisky within the bottle, if it is a single cask it gives us a definitive age of that whisky but if like most of the official releases which may be made up of lets say 50 casks then if only 1 cask is say 12 years old but all the others are 22 years then by definition this is a 12 year old whisky..
It tells us nothing else.. its not an indication of quality but it is a component in determining the price tag !!
So when That Boutique-y Whisky Company decided to carry the age statement even on blends and younger offerings it was greeted with applause and a lot of happy customers but what did it actually prove ? the previous releases were just as good, the quality didn’t differ, the prices stayed pretty much the same ( obviously they have risen with time ) The most obvious gain for us drinkers was that where we were left guessing as to the liquids age we now knew as Boutiquey generally release very small batches, single casks or on some occasions larger batches but you do get the feeling most of the casks used within these releases are very close in age..
With that said you know when you get a release that boasts a 40 year age statement that the price tag will match !! £238.95 for a 40 year old single malt whisky.. Wait, that has to be wrong.. After all I keep hearing TBWC bottles are over priced ! They are only 50cl after all.. well I guess that’s one to stick where the sun don’t shine.. They are 50cl for a reason, firstly it helps to keep the prices reasonable and secondly as the prices are kept down it means you can try other expressions too !!
And before you start to give me examples of more expensive bottles remember they have to initially buy the casks and that factors into the price of any bottles released by the independent bottlers..
40 year Dufftown from That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Age.. 40 years
Nose.. Dark and moody just about sums this up.. Plenty of earthy, musty aromas, dunnage warehouse blends into old leather, dried tobacco and spice markets.. Maple syrup on Belgian waffles, blackcurrant jam and burnt toast..
Palate.. Although there are spices initially they just fade away into a multitude of flavours with Dates, figs, aniseed, espresso coffee, black treacle and bitter dark chocolate leading into Manuka honey, dried tobacco and some, no, a barrage of old oak notes..
Thoughts.. This is another one of those dirty little drams that makes you smile.
There is no let up in the onslaught of big flavours which all contribute to give you a really intense moment when you first taste this.. The nose is truly seductive and just like a beautiful woman it makes us mortal men just a little weak at the knees.. Take a sip and you enter the realms of another alternative dimension, a world where nothing else really matters other than the glass of liquid you are about to drink, unfortunately once its gone its back to reality with a bang..
You have been warned..
This expression may not be for those with a disposition of weakness or negative thoughts..
With thanks to Dave Worthington ( Mr Boutique-y to you and I ) for the sample..
This made me feel like Oliver.. Please sir can I have some more……..