There is still independent whisky to be bottled, even if the pickings are slimmer, and some tempting things show up on shelves. Here, a Mortlach (one of my favorite distilleries, but hard to find) was distilled in September 1997 and spent some number of years in ex-bourbon before being transitioned to a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt to finish, for a total of 18 years in cask.
Dufftown is, in fact, a small distillery in the town of Dufftown, with the official name of “Dufftown-Glenlivet Distillery” which does nothing to alleviate the confusion (it refers to the valley – glen – of the river Livet, not the Glenlivet Distillery). The Diageo-owned distillery has six stills and was established in the 1890s. …
The whisky is aged in some inscrutable combination of European and American oak casks, some of which held sherry at one time. The “two types” of American Oak used could refer refill and first-fill, or it could mean ex-bourbon American oak casks that have been “seasoned” by sloshing some re-used sherry around in them. The whisky is bottled without added coloring or chill filtration.
BenRiach’s chameleon malt has, in this case begun life unpeated and spent an undisclosed amount of time (probably more than 12 years) in ex-bourbon before being transitioned into a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt to mature for additional time, totaling 15 years. The whisky is bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration or added coloring (a practice collectively known as ‘Craft Presentation’).
Priced where 16 year-old single malts used to be priced, it’s bottled at the basement strength of 40% ABV after aging in extremely usual ex-bourbon barrels. … A tasty, easygoing malt that has been murdered by the addition of far too much water.
GlenDronach The Hielan’ is an 8 year-old ‘Dronach that only seems to retail in the UK. The whisky comes from a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, which makes me think it’s an attempt to compete with a number of “double cask” expressions proliferating on the market such as The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year. It seems odd to me to compete with a popular $40 whisky by releasing a $40 whisky that is 4 years younger, but nobody asked me.
Copper Dog is a blend of 8 single malt scotch whiskies, all from the Speyside region of Scotland. It is produced in association with the pub that shares its name, located in the historic Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside. … The whisky has no age statement, and is bottled at the legal minimum 40% ABV. There is little information about the source whiskies, except that…
GlenDronach’s 21 year-old bottling from the official distillery lineup is aged in a combination of PX (Pedro Ximenez) and oloroso sherry casks. (Note that is “aged” not “finished” – this whisky sat for a full 21 years in barrels previously containing sherry.) Hilariously enough in the current political climate, this whisky is not in fact named after the British Parliament, but rather for the “parliament” of rooks that nest in the trees overlooking the distillery. It is bottled at 48% ABV and without chill filtration or added coloring.
Dailuaine is known as a component in Johnnie Walker blends, which is where the vast majority of the output from the distillery’s three wash and three spirit stills goes. This particular 16 year-old was matured in ex-sherry casks, although I can’t find any details (Full-term maturation? Finish?). Diageo is, as usual, tight-lipped about production details. Bottled at 43% ABV, probably chill-filtered, and likely colored.
The Glendullan distillery is yet another one of those industrial factories that Diageo uses to spit out tens of thousands of liters of whisky every year, almost all of which goes into blends. There have been both official and independent bottlings of Glendullan for a long time, but they haven’t been marketed or distributed with much effort, nor received much attention.