I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I wasn’t even born, let alone near the grassy knoll on that fateful day in Texas.
Now that that’s out of the way, I can bang on another drum I continuously drum about (not the one about being a peathead or the one about blends still being worth it sometimes). No, it’s this: If you’re looking for your birth year as a Scotch, and you’re older than your early 20s, then single grain whisky is most likely your option (assuming you aren’t putting aside quite a bit of money for it).
Enter Dumbarton Infamous Nectar 32. Above 30 years, great if you were born in the late 80s, nice metal front to sit on your shelf, and has some tasty stuff inside that some people may eventually get to.
But the thing about grain, and you learn this more and more as a Canadian whisky fan, is it takes a lot longer to take on flavour and complexity. So is 30+ years enough for Dumbarton? Let’s find out, shall we?
Price: $179.99 CAD
Cask # 25229
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Cotton candy, peach pie, ginger, glue
Very sweet nose. Some fruit, some spice, some heat, and some… glue? Yikes, it’s very sweet, though not off-putting. A bit strong on the sweet/spice level, though nice.
And heck, some of you must have been that kid who ate glue in class: All grown up and with an adult glue drink now!
Taste: Brown sugar, pear, cloves, malt, black pepper
Alright, now we’re into some cohesive flavours: Brown sugar, pear, cloves… It’s basic Autumnal flavours going on, and I’m all for it.
Other grains typically have some odd left turn flavour or something that’s grown out of the cask: Not here. Very easy, simpler, spice focused.
Finish: Cereal, dark honey, cardamon, grapefruit, limeade
Alright, getting a bit daring now: Some strong honey versus the super sweets of the nose, good citrus and more spice. Nice way to finish.
Conclusion: Cereal focused, some rough areas. Not as weird as other single grains. I think this one is more approachable for whisky fans as it’ll taste very similar in profile to a single malt.
So I stand by my statement once more: You’re going to want something where the numbers relate to your personal numbers and thus obtain numberwang: Birth year bottle? Yeah, it’s a no brainer. Tastes nice will be a hit with non-whisky drinkers and is decent enough for that snobby friend who drinks your stuff.
I’ll be over at 7, BTW.
Is it going to blow your mind like a 30+ single malt? No. But it’s also not going to blow your wallet (reminder: my score has nothing to do with the price). It was nice to try, and beyond some missteps on the nose, would be worth having.
Scotch review #1325, Lowland review #50, Whisky Network review #1985