Most single malt brands release exclusive expressions for a specific region, this is normally achieved by the distillery using a slightly different maturation process or releasing at a unique age. The Singleton brand is quite unique in the way they went about this, deciding to use a different distillery for each of the three regions. The Dufftown distillery was for the European market, Glen Ord distillery was for the Asian market and the US market was catered for by the Glendullan distillery.
All three have a core range that is a 12, 15 and 18 year old, with both the US and European markets having further expressions available to them. The whole brand has had a recent face-lift, thankfully this has kept one of the most distinguishing feature of the Singleton brand. The old blue/green glass hip flask styled bottle, something that makes these bottles stand out on a crowded shelf.
The latest addition to the range has come from the Dufftown distillery, a no age statement expression called the Malt Master’s selection. Bottled at 40% abv the expression is matured in a mix of refill, Bourbon and sherry cask, with a higher percentage being refill with the intention of letting the sweeter notes of the distillery come through. So how does this taste..
Nose: Soft hint of honeysuckle, Raspberries, touch of raisins, summer meadow, fresh oranges, sweet honey, light & delicate..
Palate: Oak, fresh ginger, Vanilla toffee, cranberries, red currants, hint of Orange pith, green Apples, fresh grass..
Finish: Not to long with ginger & Oak notes fading leaving a little warmth..
Having tried quite a few expressions from the Singleton range, I can definitely see how this sits within the core range. The higher percentage of refill casks has given it a more fruity note than the 12yo (not as sweet as thought it would be), while still keeping that DNA of green grassy notes that I associate with the Dufftown Singleton. I think this will work well as that introduction malt to the range, it still has enough to keep fans of the range interested but will not overpower the first time whisky drinker. Maybe making this the ideal recruitment malt for the Singleton brand, tempting the long time vodka drinkers into trying something new.
I quite like this easy drinking expression, you don’t have to spend ages thinking about it. All you need to do is pour and relax, something I think a lot of distilleries are missing out on by not having a simple expression in their range. So if you want to convert someone to whisky, then this could be a great starting point for that journey.