Dufftown 1978 17 year old

Posted 16 August 2018 by Matt / In Dufftown
The Dramble reviews Dufftown 1978 17 year old James MacArthur Fine Malt Selection

Bottle Name: Dufftown 1978 17 year old

ABV: 58.5%
Distillery: Dufftown
Bottler: James MacArthur (Fine Malt Selection)
Region: Speyside

Another James MacArthur Fine Malt Selection whisky in the form of a 1978 17 year old Dufftown. MacArthur have bottled six Dufftown whiskies to date – all of them hailing from the 1978 vintage year. This one is the oldest, but, not the strongest, despite the pokey ABV of 58.5%.

Nose: Fruity and floral, but at the same time seemingly a touch stale. Rosehips, lilies and week-old cut flowers with raspberries, strawberries and some soft-peaked meringue. There’s dusty pineapple here (OBE?) as well as aged leather and hummus. An odd concoction if ever there was one. The addition of water adds zingy lemon sherbet and pleasant biscuitiness, but also some very pronounced potpourri and lavender – it starts to seem soapy and almost like 90’s Bowmore FWP.

Taste: Gah! What is this? Unbelievably tart, sour, bitter and tannic (all at once) and massively booze-driven to the point that this feels like naked distillate. After a few minutes of recovery time (which is needed) – tinned pineapples, nectarines and white wine. These are joined by ginger biscuits, ground black pepper and old dried wood. The back-palate brings a different new horror – mould, rotten flowers and stale food. No. Just no. Water certainly improves things (it really couldn’t make them worse) – cream buns, yeasty bread and rolled pastry – but still with a strong flavour of decomposed plant matter lingering.

Finish: Medium, musty, dusty and with plenty of drying wood, rotting flowers and week-old steeped tea.

Alas, this 1978 Dufftown is a disaster. There’s a handful of pleasant aromas and flavours here, but they’re mired in the stench of death and decay. The aroma and flavour profiles are all over the place – undecided if they want to be fruity, citric, woody or floral – the end result is a composition which takes the worst aspects of all of them. There's nothing fine malt about this - completely flawed and verging on offensive.

Score: 59/100

Master of Malt
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