Another day, another Glenmo with an inscrutable name. Normally I do not have the opportunity to purchase Duty Free whisky, a curse that comes with the blessing of not spending untold thousands of dollars on “exclusives” that by all accounts are not worth the effort. Today, though, I have a 45ml sample from Flaviar with (one of) the Glenmorangie’s Duty Free exclusives: The Duthac. Let’s see if this one would be worth the international flight.
The Duthac is named after the medieval St. Duthac and intended to honor the annual pilgrimage of King James IV to his shrine near the distillery in Tain. This contrived story is probably intended to justify the marketing phrase, “A whisky fit for a king.” A king flying coach, I suppose. The whisky is a no-age-statement (NAS) bottling of Glenmorangie partially finished in PX (Pedro Ximénez) sherry casks, and part in charred virgin oak. The vatting is bottled at 43% ABV and sold in 1 liter bottles in Duty Free (aka “travel retail”) shops.
Nose: Light, sweet, and honeyed. Toasted nuts, honeycomb, and caramel dominate the aroma, without much in the way of fruits or florals. A slight resinous tinge of raisin is the only hint of sherry that I get, and a little bit of ripe banana which might be from the virgin oak.
Palate: Mildly syrupy body. Medium tongue burn (appropriate for 43% ABV). The overall impression is sweet, with more obvious elements of sherry maturation: golden raisin, fig, and date. A slight nutty background provides some contrast.
Finish: Medium length. Nutty malt, without much dimension. No fruit, and no evolution through the finish. Plain.
With Water: A few drops of water add an extra layer of banana to the aroma (no thanks), and thin the palate. The finish is a little more complex, with a high note of lime peel or tart berries. Still, I’d avoid the water with this one.
Overall: This seems like a slightly older Lasanta, with some of the rough edges sawn off, but nothing of value added. For the price, I’d rather buy something that isn’t narrowly beating a $40 whisky. Especially if it means I can stay away from the airport.