Review: WM Cadenhead Dufftown-Glenlivet 26 Years Old 1998
Located in Speyside, Dufftown carries more than its fair share of quality distilleries, including some of our favorites: Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Mortlach. The city claims to produce a more single malt than any other city in Scotland, proudly affixing near the city limits a sign declaring itself “The Whisky Capital of The World.” Far be it from me to argue with anyone’s claims, especially while enjoying a dram from the distillery sharing its name with the city.
Owned by juggernaut Diageo, Dufftown’s primary function is serving the Bell’s line of blended whiskies. It is also one of several single malts featured in Diageo’s Singleton series. This particular offering of Dufftown-Glenlivet is bottled at cask strength by independent bottler WM Cadenhead as part of their reputable Small Batch series.
The nose is full of lime zest and overripe apples. With some time in the glass, there’s a nutty texture that makes its way to the forefront. It’s summery without being too heavy on the tropical notes. The palate gradually shifts with more of that nutty texture, but there’s a bit of toasted coconut thrown in for good measure. Things go from sweet to savory by the finish, which is heavy on brown sugar and oak.
At first, there was a sense this was going to be thin, almost too thin and too light, for a single malt of this age. Thankfully, towards the end the sweeter elements find footing and balance with the late-game earthy, savory notes, providing a bit of curiosity and fun. If fun is your sort of thing, of course.
B+ / $300