Smokin’, 40% – Duncan Taylor

A new release from long time indie bottler Duncan Taylor. This one is a blended whisky with an old fashioned character. The press release:

Whisky as it used to be. Smokin’ Scotch whisky perfectly balances robust peat smoke flavours and smooth notes of toffee and vanilla. Paying homage to the legendary blends of yesteryear, renowned for their rich flavor and uncompromising character, Smokin’ is a full bodied experience to be savored.

Let’s just see about all that. I tend to be kind of sceptical towards ‘old fashioned’ and ‘as it used to be’. Mostly they are nice whiskies but I feel that all that ‘back to yesteryear’ stuff is more marketing than that it holds any actual value. Of course, I can’t judge those statements truly, since I don’t have a clue how far back they’re going and what whisky tasted like back then.

What I do know is that most blended Scotches from the ’80s are not like this, so it’s probably an older recipe. Pre-war I think, based on the styles you read about in magazines and such.

Smokin' by Duncan TaylorSniff:
Takes some getting used to. The Port Askaig 30 CS was my previous dram, so this took me off guard.

Slightly smoky with a complex combination of other flavours. Spirit driven (so I expect it to be young), fruit juice, smoke and almost no wood influence. At first I thought this was a rather thin smelling whisky, but that is quickly counteracted by some grease and thickness. Fruit and after a while some toasted oak.

Gentle wood, fruit and smoke. Again, thin at first with peach, honey and heathery smoke. I’d say there is some Highland Park in there… And again, the thinness is gone after a bit.

The finish is comparable to what came before. A light wood influence, some smoke, some tropical fruits and that all wrapped in fairly complex layers. As I go back to taste it after some more time I start getting more and more caramel, wood and honey.

Actually, the spirit on the nose with a lot of other flavours took me off guard, as I said. After that it develops into a nice and layered blend. I do get the style they’ve chosen and it doesn’t feel random at all.

The smokiness with honey and heather reminds me of Highland Park, but also of a more generic Highland style compared to some other blends that have a more Islay character.

Now, it all comes down to the price of this. According to Whisky Intelligence it’ll come in at about £ 27 / € 33, which is a fair price for a whisky of this caliber. I, however, would have loved it a bit more at 46%, I think.

Smokin’, Duncan Taylor, 40%, £ 27. I’ve only seen it at Single Malts Direct

Thanks for Karen Law of Duncan Taylor for the official sample!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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One Response to Smokin’, 40% – Duncan Taylor

  1. Gal Granov says:

    Should have gotten this sample too (bloody customs, i had to return everything and nothing came here yet). was dram #7 in our wee #12blends game. darn it! I had no clue

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