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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Singleton of Glendullan 14 year old, Diageo Special Releases 2023

If there is a Diageo distillery towards which I have as little curiosity in as Glenkinchie, it would be Glendullan. Even among the "Singleton" distilleries, it places last. Its single malt always tastes like a blend to my palate, and not one of the good blends. Perhaps one of Ye Olde Rare Malts will change my mind someday, but right now all I have is this 2023 Diageo Special Release.

The good news is that the whisky has an age statement. The bad news is that it has a wine cask finish. The better-than-bad news is that the wine was a Chardonnay from Burgundy. The vins blancs from Bourgogne are among my favorite grape products in the world. Can the vin salvage the usquebaugh???

Distillery: Glendullan
Owner: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Dufftown)
Age: minimum 14 years
Bottling year: 2023
Maturation: Unknown primary maturation, though probably some sort of American oak vessel. Finished in Chardonnay de Bourgogne French oak casks.
Outturn: ?????
Alcohol by Volume: 55.0%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose is all over the place. Oddly, the first note is not French Chardonnay, but ultra-buttery American Chardonnay, a thing I avoid like......well......Glendullan. Green herbs, mint leaves. angel food cake, and plaster arrive next. After 20+ minutes it de-ages, reading like new make, kirschwasser, pears, and a sprinkle of yeast. The palate fares better, starting with oranges, fresh ginger, and toasted almonds, with cotton candy and plastic bottle brandy in the background. It finishes sweeter with apples, pears, ginger powder, and brown sugar.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Different nose now: anise + fennel seed + oregano + caramel. The palate has become VERY sweet, like ginger candy, ginger ale, and lemon candy. It finishes with ginger candy and dried apricots.


This is best Glendullan I've tried, but then again all the others were C-grade and D-grade malts. The nose is strange, but sometimes in a good way. The palate is more reliable, but only when neat. Overall, it reads younger than its age statement, and its incongruous casketry doesn't do it too many favors. But, still, it tastes good, and that counts for something. (For another take, Mr. Opinions liked this much more than I did. Our samples came from the same bottle split, so perhaps something went slightly sideways with my pour?)

Availability - 
Still available, at least in Europe

Pricing - $120-$200
Rating - 80 (neat only)