It’s time for the third and final edition of Muckety-Muck, the well-aged single grain Scotch whisky in Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project. What started at 24 years old and then hit 25 is now retiring at the ripe old age of 26. As with its forebears, this is old Port Dundas, bottled with a pig and tartan motif and a really weird name.
One year older and another tick up in proof, from 90 to 91 to 92 over the last three years, the whisky isn’t exactly tearing up expectations but rather slowly iterating on what it’s done in the past. But maybe that extra year and that extra 1/2 percent alcohol have had some kind of impact, however small, as this does indeed come across like a slight different, slightly better whisky than we’ve seen before.
The nose of brown sugar and butterscotch is expected, with light baking spices and a gentle nuttiness backing it up. Fresher and less cereal-heavy than prior renditions, the whisky has a liveliness that feels right at home with its sweeter, nougaty aromatic profile. Altogether it feels more expressive and engaging than the relatively tame 25 year old.
The palate here feels like it’s working in lockstep, modest sweetness setting the stage for notes of shortbread cookies, cinnamon sugar, a touch of molasses, and, eventually, a toasted breakfast cereal note. That nutty quality takes on an Almond Joy character here, leading to a slightly drying finish that hints at a grind of pepper to balance out some of the more sugary, though never overblown, elements.
It’s a fitting farewell for the series — clearly the best of the bunch — and I have to say I’m sad to see it go. Would have been wonderful to see Muckety-Muck at 27 years old — and 93 proof, natch.