Review: The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Years Old (2008)

Review: The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Years Old (2008)

New Scotch expressions are legion. But Scotch producers making it to the U.S. are pretty rare, considering this country’s love of the stuff.

Glendullan distillery presents its first American offering this fall, The Singleton, a 12-year single malt that most Scotch enthusiasts will likely find perfectly pleasant, if a bit entry-level.

Produced in the crowded Speyside region, Glendullan’s 80-proof Singleton is a darker 12-year than most, but the taste is fairly light. Buttery smoke is first on the nose, and in the quaff. Floral notes are secondary, followed by light apple, nutty almond, and faint grassy tones. It’s very approachable for a Scotch pro, but I probably wouldn’t unleash it as a first-time whisky on a newcomer to the spirit. The more I drink it the more I like it, though I do prefer more honey/vanilla sweetness in my whisky.

On a secondary note: The bottle is an oblong number that resembles an (oversized) flask, a design that’s really growing in popularity these days.

Not a terrible price for a Scotch that is likely to be hard to come by for the immediate future. Give it a try if you’re a single malt enthusiast.

80 proof.


The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Years Old (2008)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. DOUG ATKIN on November 13, 2008 at 8:52 am


  2. Christopher Null on November 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Doug – No relation at all. Auchroisk dropped the “Singleton” part of its name in 2001.

  3. Marshall Jeffus on November 26, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Was introduced to The Singleton at a upscale restaurant a couple of weeks ago. Excellent! Bought my first bottle today, was very surprised at the price, expected it to be more. Highly recommend this scotch!

  4. Ryan of Melbourne on January 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Just got my first bottle of Walker Blue and The Singleton 12 Yr is hands down better than any of the higher priced drams.

  5. Steve on January 11, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Got this as a change from 12yr McAllen. Very nice change. Much mellower and a bit salty. A great everyday scotch for those who can’t afford the really good stuff (um…like 18 yr McAllen)

  6. erok on February 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Got my first bottle as a gift from a sister in law. I married into the right family, that’s for sure. I’m used to single malts with a more prominent peat smoke and sea salt flavor, and the subtlety of this malt is refreshing. I’m sure the sherry casks they use play a part in the fruit notes. This could be the smoothest scotch I can afford right now. Definitely smoother and mellower than some 15 yrs I’ve tried. The trick will be to make this bottle last!

  7. Jay Singleton on May 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Picked it up due to it being my namesake and it was a awesome surprise, the taste was right up my alley.

  8. Jeremy on June 5, 2009 at 5:11 am

    I usually enjoy Glenmorangie or similar, but I had this at a scotch bar in Chicago last night on a suggestion from the bartender. It has been a long time since i was so pleasantly surprised. Very smooth, with a rovust flavor and none of the alcohol burn you often find in the price range. Definitely worthwhile!

  9. John on June 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Bought my first bottle of Singleton last night. Have been a bourbon drinker guy for years but ventured into the scotch arena a few times. Tried Johnny Walker Red, Chevis Regal and others in the past but after recently trying some Glenlivet a few weeks ago, I decided to buy a bottle. Singleton was seated right next to it so I gave it a try instead. Generally smooth but Glenlivet was slightly smoother. Like them both and the price-point is close enough between the two of them.

  10. JJ on June 14, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Got my first bottle as well. Had a Johny Walker black and liked it so I figure I’d give scotch a try and my first impression was buttery and I like it!

  11. Clemuel on July 12, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Living in South Korea it’s hard to find a decent affordable bottle of Scotch. Just picked up a bottle of The Singleton at one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. It was on sale, 30% off from the 59.00 it usually sells for). Back home I’d usually keep a bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 or the Trader Joe’s sponsored 18 yr. McAllen. The Singleton is alright.

  12. Bad on August 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Having tried several different scotch brands, I find myself coming back to this time and time again. It doesn’t have too strong a peat flavor, yet still distinguishes itself from some of the more common brands with a subtly sweet, yet smooth finish that’s nice and not harsh. I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for a lesser expensive single malt.

  13. Steve on August 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Two years ago my wife and I were touring distilleries in the Speyside region and at one of them (the Glen Ord I think) I think we sampled The Singleton. We were told that you could only buy it at their distelleries because it was distributed in the asian market only. We enjoyed it but it didn’t make the cut over some of the others that we bought to bring home.

    I was wondering if this is the same one and finally making it’s way to the US market?

  14. G Singleton on November 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Saw it in the duty free,

    Not a Scotch drinker but the name ment something special.

  15. Jon on December 20, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Just bought a bottle in South FL it was recommended and on sale in the liquor store for $19 ! It’s excellent, smooth well balanced what value.

  16. Mayukh Dewan on December 29, 2009 at 10:55 am

    bought a couple of bottles in my local pub on christmas eve (promotional prices on 2 bottles) and was pleasently surprised with the slight smokey n light flavour of the whiskey. me n a couple of friends managed to finish 1.5 bottles b4 the clock stuck 12.00. my half a bottle is still stored safe in the pub for my return on new years eve.
    pros: good scotch at a reasonable price
    great looking label n packaging
    smooth n light finish
    cons: not as peaty as i expected…personal opinion (my wee dram is usually more smoky n strong)
    good for get togethers but i would sitting down with whisky connoisseurs i would prefer another of my regular brands

  17. Ivonne in So Fla on January 12, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Just bought my first bottle! Got home and tried it and was pleasantly surprised, especially after paying only $19. Very smooth and would definitely recommend.

  18. @jon on January 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I bet you bought it at Big Daddy’s. That’s the only place i saw it on sale for 19.99/liter size.

    Best scotch at that pricepoint i’ve ever had. Know any places that still have it in stock for the same price?

  19. Dan on January 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I agree with the seeming consensus here. I found The Singleton to be quite nice. I originally stopped by the site to inquire about the Auchroisk/Glendullan thing, but I see that has been dealt with already. Now I see that some of you have been buying the whisky for $20. Wow! I think I paid around $35. Next bottle I will shop a little harder.

  20. Larry on January 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I like to try different single malts and thats the way I drink them, one shot of one, then one of another, etc…I, too, was surprised at how tasty Singleton is. Yes, it’s a single malt for beginners as it’s not overpowering, but is a pleassure to have in my liquor cabinet line up. Here, in Minnesota, it’s been going for 33 a pop. If I could get it for 19 bucks a bottle, I’d buy a case, just to have on hand. Drink up!!!!!

  21. @larry on February 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    that was a one-shot sale to get people hooked on it. the liquor store i bought them no longer carries singleton liters at all. they have the 750ml for 35.99 now

  22. Dave on April 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I just opened my first bottle and really enjoyed it. It is very smooth and not as strong as I expected. I am usually a beer drinker, but do drink liquor- now preferring something with flavor.

    I bought it because the owner of the liquor store recommneded it. I am not dissapointed, but was expecting something more intense. I guess if you are an “entry level’ drinker or this is your first foray into better scothes I d recommend it. My next bottle, however, is going to be for more exerienced drinkers.

  23. SG on June 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Yeah, prices have soared since this thread started. A liter here in Michigan is $45. It’s a decent Scotch but no longer a fair value IMO.

  24. Matthew Cook on June 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I just bought a bottle of this in Des Moines, IA at Hy-Vee for about 33 or 35 can’t remember because I was getting my usual groceries as well. I must say this is a pretty wild flavor. I had some Walker and Regal in my cabinet and kind of did a blind taste test. The one that seemed to go down smoothest is Singleton, which surprised me. I only picked it because it was on TPD.

  25. The Glendullan Rover on December 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Hi everybody, just a quick note from someone who actually works at Glendullan Distillery. Looking at the posts then I would say there is a bit of confusion as to the Singleton family. Singleton of Glendullan is available to the North American market. One of the previous posts mentioned that they tasted a Singleton at Glen Ord. This is the Singleton of Ord that is available to the Far East market. The third Singleton is Dufftown which is available as 12 and 15 year old. This is predominantly available in the Duty Free but is beginning to become available in the UK. Hope this helps in your tracking of the Singleton……………. Hope you keep enjoying whichever dram you can get a hold of.

  26. Amanda on December 22, 2010 at 2:31 am

    I know nothing about whiskeys, but my daughter’s boyfriend apparently does. I bought this bottle yesterday on recommendation for him. What I would like to know is, if someone likes bourbon, how wouold they find The Singleton as I have just been informed he likes bourbon. If I do need to change it any suggestions for a good reasonable priced bourbon or should I give this a whirl??!

  27. Anonymous on August 31, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Excellent low 30s single…great recession scotch…i m sure itll be forty
    bux in no time

  28. conrad on November 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    So the local liquor store had this on incredible special. 1L bottles. $40….wait for it….buy one get one free! Got the last case of 6 bottles they had. Love the stuff, Auchentoshan can be usually had at the same store for about $25. Remember when i used to get Glenmorangie and Oban at Duty free in Atlanta for about $25-30 per liter. Miss those days…

  29. David on June 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Frankly, most blended whiskies are better than this appaling single malt. It is sickly sweet with an awful after-taste. Heaven only knows how this made its way into the presumably lucrative duty free market. What an embarrassment for Scottish whisky !

  30. TBell on December 9, 2012 at 5:20 am

    I work in Asia and the Singleton of Ord is widely available here (thanks to The Glendullan Rover for the clarification). The Singleton of Ord is definitely the best value for money in terms of single malts in my opinion. It’s become my ‘house’ whisky. Interested in comparing with a bottle of the Singleton of Glendullan, which I have yet to be able to get my hands on.

  31. Greg on March 26, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I saw this review a year or so ago and tried Singleton 12 and liked it but haven’t bought another bottle since (lots of Scotch to try). So I get a craving for this and can’t find any in stock anywhere :( . While out to lunch many miles from home I find? 2 bottles in stock so I go get them. I told the owner about his store having the only bottles around. So he calls his distributor and they tell him that Singleton 12 year has been CANCELLED :( . I researched this and found this info:

    Doc Martin wrote on October 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    The Singleton of Glendullan was originally released to be the “introductory malt” for a younger generation of scotch drinkers. After a nice launch, it got lost among Diageo’s other malts. Unfortunately, I have it on a good source that? the Singleton of Glendullan will be phased out over the next year in North America, so you may want to stock up on it.

  32. J. Curt on March 21, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    A bit disappointed. Not bad at all. Very smooth and a bit sweet. Reminds me a bit of Chivas which sells for the same price here in Michigan. But Chivas has a bit more character. If smooth and sweet Is what you want, take the Chivas over this. Close in flavor to Aberfeldy, which runs only 3-4 dollars more here. But Aberfeldy is much better. Quite different from JWB with its wonderful smoky flavor. So not fair to compare the two. Glad I tried it but won’t buy again.

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