This week I have been pouring and exploring a new dram, a new release from Diageo under their Singleton banner, the Singleton of Dufftown, Malt Master’s Selection. Before we get into the dramming I would like to thank Steve, from the Whisky Wire, for asking me to take part in this exciting whisky flash blog event to celebrate the launch of this new product, and to the Singleton team for organising the samples. Additionally, if you want to check out my fellow flash bloggers thoughts on this dram, search #Singleton on twitter.
First things first, let’s explain what the Singleton is. The Singleton is a range/brand of single malts which are released by Diageo, though it doesn’t come from one distillery but three. Whisky from the Glen Ord, Glendullan and Dufftown distilleries are all bottled as single malts under the brand title Singleton, so for example, the Singleton that we are trying today consists of malt whisky from the Dufftown distillery. Diageo have admitted themselves that the reason for doing this is to combine the volume of the three sites in an attempt to make it the world’s #1 malt whisky brand. Whether you think it should be counted as one or three products it is working pretty well for them so far, since being launched 10 years ago the Singleton brand has climbed to 5th globally!
The new release that we have here is the revamped entry level product for the Dufftown range of Singleton, named the ‘Malt Master’s Selection’. Presented at 40% abv., this non-age stated dram has been designed to offer a ‘slightly sweeter’ style compared to the 12 year old. The maturation has taken place in a range of cask types, namely Bourbon and Sherry, with a large proportion of these being refill casks to allow ‘the sweet yet refined distillery character to shine through’. Before we get to the tasting I just want to say that I like that they have kept the over-sized hipflask look during the rebrand as it think it looks very smart. Anyway…
Straight away on the nose we are met with apples; baked cooking apples and crisp red apple peel, which is accompanied by white pepper and soft sweet spices. Think cloves, nutmeg and dried ginger. There is also a candied orange peel aroma which is matched by a slightly savoury herbal note, maybe parsley. It’s very sweet and fruity on the nose. Matching the intense fruitiness all the way is this incredibly creamy, almost heavy, custard note which sits over everything.
Mixed peel and lemon extract win the race to the palate, which is quickly joined by a gentle wave of hot ground peppercorns and sweet green chilli. A light honeyed sweetness develops through the palate as does the baked cooking apples from the nose, though this is a surprisingly savoury dram compared to the nose. It’s very herbal and packed with rich malt and toasted oak. You can tell that it is comprised of some fairly young whisky though, due to the wide range of casks used, there is quite a lot going on.
Again it’s quite savoury with lots of herbal suggestions, perhaps a slight spearmint tea note. It’s very malt heavy and loaded with more of that toasted oak. The Finish is quite short in length and is a bit dusty and drying – making you want to go back for another sip!
Well there we have it. As far as non-age stated entry levels bottlings go, this ain’t half bad at all! When the RRP is £30 (I’ve seen it online for £26) you aren’t going to expect the best dram you have ever tried. What we have here is a very enjoyable, simple, everyday drinking whisky. It’s the sort of dram that you can sit back and put your feet up with after a long day and enjoy a couple drams of. For the price, I think I might have to get myself a bottle; it’s super easy to drink and would be a nice introduction for non-whisky drinker to the category. I imagine this would make an amazing old fashioned (unfortunately I finished my sample so can’t test it out!).
Thank you again to Steve for asking me to take part in this flash blog event, and to the kind folk over at Singleton for organising. Be sure to take a look at some of my fellow flash bloggers thoughts over on twitter too to see their opinions on the Singleton of Dufftowns, Malt Master’s Selection, simply search #Singleton.