Dumbarton is one of those grain distilleries you don’t across often. You don’t across any of them often, but compared to the others, Dumbarton is kind of obscure. They’re only getting more obscure anyway, since the plant was demolished in 2005 after being closed in 2002.
Apparently there’s also an official bottling, so all others (28 of them) are indies varying from the early sixties to 1987. However you put it, this is rare stuff.
I had already forgotten that Inverleven, on which I blogged a while ago, was inside the Dumbarton complex. Those guys made things complicated.
There’s lots of vanilla and quite some oak. Especially for a not-too-old grain whisky the oak is quite prominent. Light, sweet and a tad spicy. Clove, and something dusty like an old attic. Some hint of alcohol and it’s a bit more sharp than I expected. Spiced cake, that brown Christmas cake stuff. I don’t get any fruit, though.
The palate is nicely spicy with a touch of alcohol heat. Some white pepper, sponge cake and vanilla. Soft apple is there now, with lots of oak. It’s sweet with a hint of brown sugar.
The finish is slightly thin with a bit of heat from the alcohol at the start. Vanilla, sponge cake, some spices. Not a very exciting finish.
This is an interesting dram. While for a grain whisky it’s not very old, a lot of them clock in at 40-something years old, it does show some depth on mostly the nose. The palate is pretty good too, and it’s just the finish that I think lets me down a little bit. It’s a bit generic, to be honest.
The nose shows a most depth but even there it’s not overly surprising. It is, however, a good combination of flavors. Good, but not great.
Dumbarton 1986-2011, 51.5%, Scott’s Selection