Dewar Rattray Macduff Tasting Notes

Posted: September 9, 2011 in MacDuff, Scotch Whisky A-G

Dewar Rattray Macduff 2000 (9 year old) 61.1%

Sherry Butt 5778/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Nov 2010

Given the colour this I would imagine was a first-fill Oloroso butt. So it would come as no surprise that the nose reeks of the cask – Toffee apple, liquorice and burnt sugar along with a touch of leafiness and a slight sulphur note.

The palate is a veritable mouthful of tannins, leafy Oloroso and alcohol. Neat the alcohol is almost painful and the cask is a touch green and a touch sulphur blemished. You really have to love this type of dram. Good length with liquorice and burnt toffee finish.

A drop of water doesn’t make much difference.

Dewar Rattray Macduff 2006 (9 year old) 58.8%

Bourbon Hogshead 101706/ Dist: Oct 2006 Btl: July 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

Oily and heavy aromas with hard barley and earth. The nose is relatively clean by Macduff standards with herbal rye-like notes, toasted cereal, white liquorice and even a slight floral note!

The palate is a bit straightforward with oily barley, but again a relatively cleanliness. Hints of earth, liquorice and toasted oak follow and the finish is a little on the hard/ industrial side with a touch of menthol.

Water makes the nose simpler with a touch of white fruit, grass, minerals and honey now appearing. The palate is similar with a touch of honey and lingering barley.

Dewar Rattray Macduff 1990 (21 year old) 59.4%

Bourbon Cask 1424/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: Oct 2011

Burnt caramel overdose on the nose! Quite industrial (as expected) with some murky wood notes. I’m afraid to say rather textbook Macduff to be honest. Yes there is some mature honey aromas but they are well hidden.

The palate is oily, industrial and redolent of burnt caramel. Hard as nails with an alcoholic, murky wood dominated middle. Actually it has a good length and a pleasant peppery finish, but you have to suffer the rest of it to get to that point. It’s a bit like self flagellation I suppose!!

With water there is a slight intimation of floral white fruit but that unpleasant burnt caramel note is omnipresent. The palate has become a bit vague and watery, with, yes; you’ve guessed it – burnt caramel! Pretty charmless stuff with an almost mouldy note in the aftertaste. Once again my palate has been Macduffed up!

Dewar Rattray Macduff 1984 (28 year old) 51.4%

Sherry Cask 3149/ Dist: 1984 Btl: Apr 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

Quite malty aromas with macerated, juicy, baked plumy fruit, treacle, burnt wood embers, light syrup and herbs. The sherry has a lovely Pedro Ximinex richness, but it is not overblown. Full and slightly grapey with hints of lightly oxidised fruit and gentle crumbly spices. Supple, mellow, mature and surprisingly elegant for Macduff!

The palate is soft and quite sweet, opening with treacle and molasses malt. The alcohol has a gentle, cleansing piquancy and allows some tannins and spice to come through on the middle. Superbly deep and long with hints of sour baked fruit, smoke and a light dried fruit rancio fade. All in all it’s a beautifully, mature sherry cask.



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