Dufftown 1979-1998, 57.1% – Cadenhead’s

As a thank you for hosting the Blog Birthday Bash (which I still haven’t blogged about) I got a sample of this from whisky friend MvZ. He is a guy that focuses on old whisky, with shifting interests. There was a period of pre-Midleton Irish whiskey, and now there is pre-Prohibition bourbon and rye, but there is always room for something different from yonder year.

Like this Dufftown. One of those distilleries who’s complete output is gobbled up by The Singleton range and independent bottlings are at least sort-of-rare. I don’t see many of them, or maybe just not many interesting ones. Maybe that was different two decades ago, when this one came out. A full on sherry matured Dufftown of 18 years old. Sherried in a way that you don’t come across often, nowadays.

What surprises me most, to be honest, is that this is a Cadenhead’s bottling. Most of the old Cadenhead’s whiskies from this era that I know are razor sharp bourbon casks at insanely high ABVs. Not always bad, but always very strict to that style. This one is different.

Massive on the dry, fruity sherry. Dates and figs, some blackberries and old wood pulp. Sherry casks and dunnage warehouses. Very ‘old style’, and light regarding the spirit. Milky coffee too.



Image from WhiskyBase

Thicker and more syrupy on the palate. It becomes sharper and drier soon. Lots of fruit, plums and dates, but mostly figs. Old casks and woodspices. A bit moldy too, with hints of coffee.

The finish comes right back with a lot of fruity and dry sherry. I’d expect it to be good Olorose in this cask before there was whisky. Sweet and spicy, with old oak, wel soil and a hint of flint and iron.

I can’t imagine someone not liking this whisky. Yes, it is massively cask driven and I very much doubt the ‘style’ of Dufftown Distillery is recognisable, but there’s just so much good flavors and scents to discover that it’s an absolutely gorgeous dram.

Dufftown 12/1979 – 04/1998, 18 years old, Sherry wood matured, 57.1%, Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection. Obviously it has long gone.



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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