Summer 2017 saw a marketing push by the industry and most notably led by Douglas Laing on single grain whiskies. These were billed as summery light and refreshing drams for those sunny days in the shade in the garden. I have to say I was never truly persuaded by the marketing but maybe I was missing out on something special.
The Port Dundas distillery is in the Lowland region of scotland in the city of Glasgow. Having been shut by Diageo in 2009 and then demolished in 2011 this distillery was once a huge producer being at one time the largest whisky producer in Scotland.
This single grain and single cask release of Port Dundas was matured in a well used refill ex-bourbon barrel from July 2004 to May 2017. It is a natural product with no colouring or filtering added to it which is something I suppose. To get one of the 290 bottles produced the asking price is around £36
Colour – Almost completely clear
Nose – oft that is spirity and sharp. Almost vodka like in its sharpness actually. In terms of tasting notes I would pick out maybe a little icing sugar and general cereals.
Palate – Again its hard to push past the rough heat but there is some cereal from the underlying spirit. Certainly nothing is coming out of the wood from 12 years of maturation.
Finish – Mercifully the finish is short and sweet.
I do not quite understand the logic behind this release. Grain whisky needs time to have any use as a single standalone product in my opinion. There is little to no flavour in the spirit and it is produced so industrially that it needs time to calm down and mellow out. This release was kept in heavily reused casks as is almost always the case with grain whisky so what you are bottling is about as close to new make spirit as you would ever want to really drink.
When this distillery is now silent it seems to be the bottler could have made a better, more expensive release had they waited longer and re-raked into an interesting cask to showcase the single grain for its advantages rather than forcing upon the consumer all the disadvantages .