Well, the fun is over, our European excursion is over and damnit, it sucks…
Luckily though I brought back a backpacking pack worth of delicious whisky to alleviate the sadness, so let’s get right back into the swing of things!
To start off the fun I bring you a special bottling from the private bottler That Boutique-y Whisky Company. This particular bottle is a Macduff 18 and is their 3rd batch from the distillery. Now Macduff is a lesser-known Highland distillery and is one of the “new” kids on the block. By new I mean they didn’t roll out their first barrel until 1960. The Macduff distillates have spent most of their life being used for blended single malts by Bacardi and now go into blends offered by John Dewars & Son, so don’t feel silly that you haven’t had their whisky, to know your knowledge. Plus to make it even more confusing the distillery doesn’t release their whisky under the name Macduff, but rather under the name The Deveron. Why do they do that? Honestly, I have no clue whatsoever, so if you do know feel free to drop me a message!
This bottle is both my first That Boutique-y Whisky Company bottle and my first Macduff. After having tried this single malt a few times it makes me bummed knowing that it is primarily used in blends because it is a mighty fine whisky!
I don’t have a ton of detail on the whisky itself other than:
- 18 year
- 48.6% abv
- £52.95 price (per That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
- AND, my best guess is probably a second-fill, maybe even third-fill, sherry cask
Color: In the glass, the Macduff is a faint gold color and not viscous at all, thin and runny legs. Pretty plain jane.
Nose: The nose has quite a subdued sweet profile. While nosing this bad boy I was finding sugary malt and dried hay, not so much barnyardy, just farmy? I don’t know if that makes sense at all, but hell, it made sense in my head. Macerated red fruits slowly convert to a slightly tart berry jam. Super easy on the nose, but don’t be fooled by the nose…
Palate: This is why you shouldn’t be fooled by the nose. On the palate, the whisky is much darker and complex. Out with the sweet, in with the savory! The first tastes I found were a handful of dark chocolate covered almonds and an un-sweetened chocolate cake. As it works around the mouth I found peppercorns, szechuan pepper (I’ll explain this one in a moment), and drying leather. Now, why szechuan pepper? The reason is that there really isn’t the flavor of a spicy pepper, but rather the experience of a pepper. A fairly noticeable tingle on the tongue and itch from the pepper. This Macduff really has an interesting savory aspect to the palate.
Finish: Let’s bring this review home! The finish was peanut brittle accompanied by a dry shortbread cookie. Really sucks the moisture out of the mouth. A slight pinch of aromatic tobacco takes you into a medium length finish that has red fruits and a bit of cayenne spice to it. Can feel it in the throat this one. NOT IN A BAD WAY.
For myself, this has been one of the more interesting drams I have had this year. There is something very perplexing about this Macduff 18. When you’re tasting it on its face, I kept on just thinking to myself, “okay, its just another middle of the pack second-fill sherry cask single malt scotch,” but its so much more than that. This whisky is like that person at work you know that is about as plain as a piece of white bread, but then you encounter them outside of the office and that effer has a full sleeve tattoo and is pulling out of a dingy dive bar on a motorcycle. Does that make sense? If not, what I am trying to say is that there is a ton of interesting flavors going on with this whisky and the nose isn’t going to show its cards on any of them. I’m giving this bottle an 8/10. Peep the homepage for an explanation of the newly introduced grading rubric.
The Macduff 18 from That Boutique-y Whisky Company is the pour I want to drink to close out the night after having conquered the town with the crew, to cleanse my palate of the cigars I had been smoking and whatever debauchery I may have gotten into.
For clarity, disclosure, and trust – this is my bottle that I purchased.