Seldom does a whisky tick all the boxes for me, but one that certainly does that is the Singleton of Dufftown 12 year old. A whisky of excellent temperament that is every bit as versatile as it is enjoyable to drink.
Hailing from a classic and world renowned area for whisky production, the Singleton of Dufftown is one in a series of Singleton expressions; the Singleton label being a benchmark for balanced character and smooth richness. The statement on the bottle fair sums it up: “Perfectly balanced. Naturally rich and smooth.”
This is also a whisky that I believe is greatly underrated and probably little known. It is priced incredibly reasonably and can be found around the £35 mark at many online whisky shops. Don’t confuse the 12 year old Singleton of Dufftown for the other expressions though; the more common “tailfire” and “spey cascade”, though pleasant, are not a spot on the 12 year old.
The colour says rich and bold with depth of flavour. Not so dark as to suggest excessive caramel but not light as to allude to sharper, possibly younger malt. Its a deep, bronzed straw colour with shades similar to a dry cider.
On the nose this whisky is not at all sharp, the spirit isn’t overwhelming and allows a better aroma to be leisurely found in the glass. It’s delicately peachy and light crisp fruits with specks of spice dotted around, a hint of oak is suggested after a wee while and smooth aroma of spices and caramelised apples caress the nose and allow a whiff of vanilla to come through in the background.
The tasting is where this whisky really shines, and rightly so. A smooth flavour of spices, toasted almonds and caramelised apples lap over the tongue and allow a suggestion of nutmeg and vanilla to bounce onto the palate. Notes of molasses, burnt sugar, stewed pears and a hint of apple wood smoke dot the finish which is long and smooth.
A slightly chocolatey finish but oh so smooth and warming. If likened to a chocolate bar this whisky could be described as a fruit and nut bar.
Utterly gorgeous and full of well rounded flavour I couldn’t recommend this whisky enough. Let me know your thoughts if you’ve tried it.