Whisky Review: Macduff 25 Years Old 1990 Cask 1271

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Macduff Distillery

Bottling: Whiskybroker; Sherry Butt 1271

ABV: 55.4%

Cost: £70

macduff-25-years-old-1990-whiskybroker

What they say:

Distilled on the 21st of February 1990 at Macduff distillery and bottled in July 2015 from single sherry cask #1271, producing 456 bottles at cask strength 55.4% ABV.

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 21

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

Distilled at Macduff distillery, however since Diageo sold this distillery to Dewar’s the malt produced has been bottled under either Glen Deveron or more recently re-launched as The Deveron as part of their last great malts range. This one was bottled independently by Whiskybroker and was distilled at a time when the distillery was still known as Macduff. Matured for 25 years in a sherry butt, I picked this for my Dramvent calender purely because of its age and to continue the theme of sherried whiskies.

Colour:

Old Madeira, dark coppery bronze (13/20), medium-large legs and large drops that leave fine trails

Nose:

On the nose there is a mixture of toffee, spice and orange citrus fruits, a hint of sandalwood soap, caramel, spice persists with ginger and cinnamon, tanned leather and freshly planed oak wood, a little vanilla, crème brulee and hints of pecan and sweet chestnut, quite powerful in intensity but subtle in aromas

Taste:

Medium-full bodied, the spice starts but quickly is subdued with a strong sweet heather honey, golden syrup, highland toffee, rum & raisin ice cream, prickly ginger and orange marmalade, milk chocolate, toffifee; hazelnut caramel cups, white pepper, cinnamon and dry leather are never very far away as is the dryness of planed oak wood and roasted sweet chestnuts and light cigar smoke/tobacco leaf

Finish:

Long, drying and slightly tannic, a good balance of spice and sweet, this is a bit of a chimera and flavours and aromas subtly shift around, reducing it slightly with water makes it more direct

Overall:

A rather solid dram in the end, a healthy dose of spices kept in check by a marvellously liquid palate that shifts and changes. The result give this whisky real mileage as I wanted to sip and re-sip and water down and try again etc. The end result is quite thinky and very enjoyable too.

Score: 91/100

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