Dufftown 22, 1998-2021, Hogshead 13083, 52% – Archives for Shinanoya

Together with the Burnside from two weeks ago, this was another bottling by Archives that flew to the other end of the world to be distributed and happily drank. Not to Canada, but to Japan, this time.

I was not exactly warned about this one, because it is supposed to have a rather unique profile. However, people kept mentioning that, which made me all the more curious. I think Archives, when selecting a cask with a bit of a weird profile, can really shine. I still have to review a Bruichladdich from a year or two ago that’ quite weird indeed.

Dufftown Distillery is not one you see a lot of. Not from official channels, and not from independent bottlers either. I don’t really know why that is, but it does make the ones you can find all the more interesting. At least, that’s what you’re hoping for. It could also be the case that the output of the distillery is shit and people don’t want it…

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, let’s just dive in.

There’s quite some barley and a very soft, pulpy sort of oak. Some baked apples, but no baking spices to go with it. It’s rather weighty, but there’s a whiff of cream and maybe even something more plant like. A heavy kind of flowery scent. Sugared rhubarb too. Brittle autumn leaves, and plywood. Burnt toast, and browned butter.

The palate is dry, which continues nicely from the autumn leaves and plywood. There’s a bitter note of walnut shells, and quite a lot of oak. Somehow, something that reminds me of succulents, especially the texture. Quite plant like, with (somehow) cactus, green malt and oak too. Something green in the background too.

The finish is consistent, but does bring some other flavors to the front too. It’s slightly more sweet, with cinnamon and baked apple. Toasted oak, dry roasted peanuts.

It’s a bit strange indeed. Not as strange as some, but it doesn’t really fit the mold of what you would expect from any random Speyside whisky either. The combination of autumnal scents and flavors (leaves, baked apples) with the spring (plants, flowers) driven stuff is interesting to say the least.

I quite like this one!



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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