Glendullan 12, 1999 (G&M for Binny’s)

Jim Murray has apparently deemed a Glendullan to be the best something or the other. This is not that Glendullan. This is also not the Singleton of Glendullan, the 12 yo from that distillery that used to be the most ubiquitous, or more accurately, the only ubiquitous Glendullan in the US. No, this is a single cask bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for Binny’s in 2012 or thereabouts. In other words, this is an extremely untimely review: I doubt anyone at Binny’s or Gordon & MacPhail even remembers this whisky. But that’s what I’m here for: to make sure we never forget these one-off releases from Scotland’s third and fourth tier distilleries, to resist the relentless pressure of the now. Or maybe I just randomly review whatever’s at hand. Can you tell that I have nothing to say about this distillery, which mostly produces for Diageo’s blends? I’ve only ever reviewed one other—a Cadenhead’s release from a couple of years ago that was nice enough. Let’s see what this one is like.  Continue reading

Glendullan 17, 1996 (Cadenhead’s)

Cadenhead's, Glendullan 17The venerable independent bottler Cadenhead’s is back in the US. Let there be rejoicing. There’s been a general revamp at Cadenhead’s with a new boss and new packaging. I don’t have anything interesting to say about the former, and I am agnostic on the latter. I quite liked the old, green bottles from when Cadenhead’s were last in the US and don’t mind the new dumpy bottles. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t complain about something though so I will say that I wish that the distillation years were on the labels and not on the little thingamajig on a string around the neck (is there a name for that thing?). In stores where these bottles are kept behind glass it’s annoying to have to call someone over just to find out what years particular bottles are from. But this is a minor issue.

The more important thing is that the prices are generally reasonable. I found eight of the Small Batch Collection releases in a store in a Minneapolis suburb and only one (the Caol Ila 22) was above $100. Of course, not all stores selling these are being quite as restrained with the prices but it suggests that they’re not starting out high straight off the boat. I bought all eight bottles to be split among some members of our local tasting group and will be reviewing them in sequence, starting with this Glendullan. After that I will return to my usual diet of largely untimely reviews. Continue reading