...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Port Dundas 12 year old

I completed this tasting a few days before typing the first word (I!) of this post. And though my expectations were set low, this "whisky" still unperformed. Make that capital-U Underperformed. I could not make it past one-third of the sample.

Leaving aside my dislike of Scottish grain whisky, this release doesn't make sense to me. Port Dundas is a dead distillery. Why not let this stuff age for 30+ years and then sell it for a small fortune to the saps who pay $1k for Special Release grain whisky? Or if it's such a large parcel, why not keep it for blends? Or do a combo of the two so there's more grain for old ultra-luxury blends?

There's nothing else constructive I can say about this "whisky", so I'm just going to get to the notes.

Distillery: Port Dundas
Owner: Diageo
Type: Single Grain
Age: minimum 12 years
Maturation: American oak
Alcohol by Volume: 40%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(Thank you to Brett for letting me relieve his collection of 1 ounce of this stuff)

The nose is all watered-down bottom shelf Canadian whisky blended with vodka. Vodka, imitation vanilla, caramel, nail polish remover, butter and simple syrup. The palate impressively and unimpressively matches the nose. Vanilla vodka, woody bitterness and palate-killing levels of sweetness. It's all heat, vanilla vodka and sugar in the finish.

Can someone with spare liver cells do a Port Dundas 12yo versus Smirnoff Vanilla taste off? Or not?

Availability - The USA because we're suckers?
Pricing - $40-$60 (should be $9.99)
Rating - 49


  1. I think my favorite Port Dundas was a 36 year old single cask (Douglas Laing) from K&L. The whisky either aged in a humid warehouse (to lose water) or the barrel filling strength was high (more likely) because that stuff was still 60% when bottled! And they bottled the whisky in time because the oak had nearly taken over. I also did buy a bottle of the official Port Dundas 12 to compare but the winner was obvious.

    1. I have a few single grain samples left in the stash. After those are done, I probably won't be trying single grains unless they're super old. They need decades in the right cask. Of course everyone's pricing single grains like single malts now, so maybe I won't try any?

  2. Also Michael, that is a lot of vanilla in your tasting notes.

    1. It was that and vodka, mate. I call 'em like I taste 'em.