Beinn Dubh was the second sample I got from Paul Dempsey at the Newcastle whisky festival, being a huge motorbike nut I’d already heard about this malt from friends. They had tried it at the “Thunder in the Glen” Harley Davidson gathering in Aviemore.
Beinn Dubh The Black is named after Ben Macdui the highest peak in the Cairngorm mountain range, which I believe is where the barley used is sourced for this malt. It gets its unique colour from the way it is finished, in heavily charred ruby Port casks from Tanoaria Josafer Lda in the Douro valley in Portugal. I’m not sure if it’s non chill filtered or if there is any colouring added, it’s bottled at 43% abv and is widely available.
Nose: Soft treacle toffee, rasins, earthy herbal note, sweet pear drops, as it opens a nice Burgundy/red wine note..
Palate: Bonfire toffee, sultanas, rasins, plums, apples, soft sweet spice, coffee, rich dark chocolate, hint of tobacco and black pepper, quite oily mouth feel..
Finish: Quite short and mellow with oak and a hint of pepper..
Well that was a surprise, when you see how dark it is you expect it to be so in your face. When I poured the sample and nosed it for the first time, I thought there was something wrong with me. It’s a nice nose but so subtle, no real big hit from anything. Then you take a sip and it coats your mouth in a nice way, the flavours work with each other enhancing the experience.
To me this a very understated whisky, it looks like it should be a beast that only the wildest can tame. When in fact it’s quite mellow and friendly, it has some bite but not enough to scare anyone away. I would be quite happy to drink this dram, it is in my opinion an excellent everyday whisky. After trying this I now want to try the limited release the Speyside distillery did last year for the Thunder in the Glen, with an age statements of 20yo I’m curious to see what type of beast that one is..