A one point in time Port Dundas was the largest producer of whisky in Scotland. But by 2011 Diageo’s production of grain whiskies has been consolidated over at Cameronbridge and the distillery was closed and quickly demolished. The site is currently being prepared for redevelopment into residential housing. This Watt Whisky Dundas was distilled in 2000 and matured in an ex-bourbon barrel before being bottled last year. Currently available via The Whisky Exchange for £84.95.
Nose: Cherry bakewell tarts and cinema toffee popcorn sit with desiccated coconut whilst condensed milk and oodles of ex-bourbon-led toffee are joined by shredded wheat and golden syrup. Reduction introduced further creamy notes with whipped Chantilly and mascarpone alongside milk toffee.
Taste: Deeper and broader than expected – more espresso than latte. Burnt toffee and cask char play against digestive biscuits whilst waxy lemons and light touches of nail polish remover sit with dark chocolate and pronounced oakiness – which is surprisingly un-tannic considering the level of influence. In the back-palate powered ginger and a tingle of both salt and pepper. Well-seasoned. Water again reveals a creaminess – but this time it brings considerable cask influence with it. Imagine a bowl of Bird’s Custard mixed using a 2x4.
Finish: Long with tingly spice, spent coffee and lumber mills.
There’s a really pleasant idiosyncrasy and a lovely ex-bourbon creaminess to this Port Dundas. But the wood influence is rather taut throughout – and I suspect that the ABV of 57.1% has been deliberately selected as the balancing point - as when rectified lower the oak really starts to run roughshod over the brighter grain notes. Take it as it comes.
Review sample provided by Watt Whisky