This will forever be known as the evening when a mere three-year old out-classed a twenty year old… read on…
As usual, our merry malt sippers tasted ‘blind’ three different whiskies, revealing the sample after snipping, swishing, swallowing and hopefully savouring!
On this evening, our whiskies were carefully ordered by age – 3 year, 16 year and closed with this 20 year.
Glen Deveron 20 year
- Colour – Dark amber…. So dark couldn’t help speculate perhaps some of the colour was ahem… enhanced?
- Nose – Sweet all spice, some jackfruit, banana pie, perhaps a hint of caramel too?
- Taste – Oily sweet, sherry with caramelized orange
- Finish – Fresh mint, brass
- Water? Spice and nothing else
Reactions – Oddly disappointing… perhaps as the Blair Athol 16 year had such an unmistakable character or the Chichibu ‘The Floor Malted’ 3 year was such an interesting start, the Glen Deveron didn’t stand out. The nose was promising, taste was somewhat familiar and the finish had more of that toothpaste mint than a fresh sprig.
The reveal – None had thought it was 20 year… with such an age, it is entirely possible the colour is natural. However goes to show our minds came to different conclusions based on our experience with the whisky which simply did not have the complexity and depth we seek in more mature whiskies.
While I initially blithely listed this as “Glen Deveron” distillery, turns out it is actually part of Macduff distillery, which was acquired by William Lawson Distillers, which became part of the Martini & Rossi corporation in 1980, acquired by Bacardi in 1992, who put their subsidiary John Dewar & Sons in charge of the Macduff distillery. So… think I’ll stick with calling it Macduff?!
So… this release from Macduff distillery is part of their Royal Burgh of Banff Collection with 16, 20 and 30 year releases for the duty-free market.
So does age really matter? At the hands of a master, apparently a mere 3-year-old ‘toddler’ can out-class a 20-year-old ‘adult’!
For those curious to read more about the other whiskies:
- 3 year – Chichibu ‘The Floor Malted’ and
- 16-year – Blair Athol
PS a few years later, this Glen Deveron 20 year surfaced again
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Nice review! I had wondered about the Glen Deveron 20yo and you’ve confirmed my suspicions. It’s one of the few whiskies with any age at the airports but it’s quite pricey for what I’ve learnt to consider as a budget single malt. It doesn’t sound like it stands a chance in a taste test against anything with a bit of body but it might be a pleasant summertime sipper on its own, do you think?
Perhaps as a summertime sipper when our palates are not influenced by more complex, character filled whiskies it would be quite pleasant. However it really didn’t stand out when we tried it… and certainly not in the league of some of the more pricey older malts we’ve tried over the years.
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