Dallas Dhu 25, 1979 (Signatory)

I’m going to stay in the Speyside this week but things are probably not going to get very much more mainstream or timely than Monday’s review of a Miltonduff released in 2012. Today’s review is of a malt from a distillery that closed amid the great slaughter of distilleries in 1983. Its reputation has never approached that of some of the other distilleries that closed then (Port Ellen, Brora) or even others that closed later (Caperdonich) and nor has it seen a wholesale re-evaluation in later years (as, for example, has Littlemill). This is presumably because not enough Dallas Dhu survived to emerge in the late 1990s and 2000s as casks from many other distilleries did. I’ve certainly enjoyed the few I’ve had. Like one of those this is from a cask filled in 1979 (ignore what it says on the label—that’s a typo) and was also bottled by Signatory. That bottle—more so than the other one I reviewed—exhibited a grainy, plasticky note that took a while to fade and which held it back at the time of my review. Let’s see if this one also has it.  Continue reading


Dallas Dhu 26, 1979 (Signatory)

Dallas Dhu 26, 1979, Signatory
This Dallas Dhu was bottled in 2006. I stared at it on the shelves of a local retailer for most of the years since, trying to decide if I wanted to take a chance on it. This summer I finally did it—thankfully, the price hadn’t gone up too dramatically in the interim (it’ll take a lot to make Dallas Dhu sexy, apparently). Was it worth it? Well, as you’ll see below, while I liked it, I did not love it—which is about how I felt about a Dallas Dhu 30, 1980 I reviewed three years ago. But I would still say it’s worth it. It’s a very unsexy profile but very interesting in the glimpse it gives us into an older style of malt whisky. I would urge whisky geeks who’ve only come to the obsession relatively recently, and, like me, may not have tried so very many 1970s whiskies, to ignore scores and check out malts like these with idiosyncratic profiles that are really not around any more. You don’t only have to drink and buy “90 point whiskies”.   Continue reading

Dallas Dhu 30, 1980 (Van Wees)

Dallas Dhu 30 1980
Dallas Dhu
was a Speyside distillery that closed in 1983 along with other, more fervently mourned distilleries (such as Port Ellen and Brora). I’ve made a few sceptical remarks here and there about the effect that romance/nostalgia may have on the reputations of closed distilleries. But it must be admitted that if romance and nostalgia were a major factor then more people would be trumpeting closed distilleries like Dallas Dhu and North Port/Brechin as well, but no one really is. I wonder if somewhere out there in the world there are lonely collectors of Dallas Dhu, Brechin, Glenesk et al., who are sitting resentfully among their bottles, pondering the recent rise from relative obscurity of such distilleries as Glenlochy and Glen Mhor, or the rehabilitation in process of the reputation of Littlemill, and wondering if their turn will ever come on the stage. If so, I recommend patience: in a world where the Balcones Brimstone can get good reviews anything is possible.  Continue reading