Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Grain Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon hogshead refill
Added colouring: No
Owner: Dram Mor Group
Average price: € 120.00
Official website: drammorgroup.com
The only single grain in this Spring release from the Scottish bottler, with the choice of a distillery very close to them geographically. Or at least it was when it was active.
Dumbarton was established in 1938 to make up for the lack of single grain to be included in the well-known blended Ballantine’s, then owned by Hiram Walker, establishing itself at the time as the largest producer of the spirit.
Using steel distillation columns in the American style, the distillery decided to abandon the widely used Coffey still, and was joined by another distillery, Inverleven, which produced malt whiskies for blending.
In 1988 Hiram Walker was sold to Allied Lyons, which just three years later closed Inverleven, and Dumbarton followed suit in 2002, later to be demolished.
A curiosity: in 1959, a hundred Chinese white geese, called the Scotch Watch, were introduced to guard the distillery warehouses and became a tourist attraction. The geese remained in the area after the closure, with the seven survivors eventually being moved with another flock ten years later to Glasgow Green.
206 bottles from a hogshead ex-Bourbon refill, as always cask strength and without chillfiltration or added colouring.
Starts out a little closed on the nose, with slightly herbaceous tones and a slight spiciness that introduce green apple, banana, coconut, vanilla, roasted coffee beans, tobacco. Lemon zest. It’s all very suave, almost ethereal, the aromas emerge lazily without ever being impactful. Shy.
In the mouth it appears more assertive, the alcoholic content pushes a sprinkle of pepper and ginger over crunchy fruit (apple, coconut), fruit tart, lemon peel, a slight balsamic breath. Slight persistence of wood on the length.
Medium-long, spicy finish with lemon, apple, vanilla, slight saline touch.
It’s difficult to find, at least for me, a single grain that really surprises. Here we are in the area of a solid dram, which perhaps lacks a little incisiveness but is pleasant and very drinkable. Considering that you find yourself with a piece of history that will never return, the value of the experience takes on a different charm.