There’s a common belief that once bottled, whisky is completely inert. To some degree that’s true – certainly if your bottle is still sealed and stored in optimum conditions. However, once your bottle is open, it is likely to change slowly over time, especially if the level of oxygen in contact with the spirit is quite high. I.E. your bottle is fairly empty. This isn’t a continuation of maturation, that’s all done and dusted before you purchase your whisky, but it is both a reductive and oxidative process, both of which can markedly change the tenor and structure of your whisky over time.
Super interesting casking for this 8 year old Macduff – 3 years in an ex-bourbon barrel and then another 5 in a 2nd fill ex-Islay barrel. You really don’t see that every day from this distillery.
Glen Deveron, The Deveron or Macduff – I’ve given up caring as the distillery doesn’t seem to what to stick to one of the other over its relatively short life span (founded in 1962). Regardless, this Society bottling (ergo Macduff) has been matured in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead for 12 years.
For the past few years, I’ve mainly seen STRs being used for quickly aging younger whiskies – but now we’re starting to see them as utilised for additional maturation. This Macduff has spent 12 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead and then been re-racked into a 1st fill STR barrique.
When I look over The Dramble annuls (now 1,136 reviews strong) there are a range of distilleries who have been under our spotlight more often than others. Musings and reviews on Bunnahabhain, Tobermory (largely Ledaig focussed) and Laphroaig account for a shy under 10% of our total review coverage. And that’s likely a fair reflection of my drinking preferences, as well as the concentration of the samples that have been provided to me for writing about. But these numbers are also a (rough) reflection of the output of distilleries that manifest themselves into current day OBs and IBs.
Few outside of enthusiast circles have heard of Macduff Distillery. For starters, much of the site’s production goes into blends – both for the well known Dewars, and also for the less well known (in the UK at least) William Lawsons – Russia’s largest imported spirit brand. But the distillery’s wider anonymity also stems from its practice for not using its actual name loudly and proudly as the overaching brands of its released single malts. Instead bottles feature 'The Deveron' for the distillery's OB age statement range and 'Glen Deveron' for the producer's global travel retail range.
No Macduff for 10 months and then two come along in the space of a few weeks. Of all the distillates to double-down on for the 2020 Boutique-y Advent calendar, this one surprises me. Especially since it’s a mere year older than the Batch 10 we reviewed at the start of the month, and is a batch that preceded it. And indeed, if you’re looking for any musings on Macduff, smack the link above – I’m loathe to repeat myself in such short order.