1997 Macduff 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1380536

Price: $79.99

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Tasting Notes

The lovely Macduff Distillery - sold locally under the Glen Deveron label - is one of those tragic cases of great malt lost behind the blends. The owners don't spend much time making a fuss of the little distillery, which was built in 1958. Not much of the whisky is sold as malt and mostly it's marketed in France. The distillery located in Banffshire was a crucial element in the popular William Lawson Blend, but recently the owners have revitalized the Glen Deveron brand with a posh new look and some expensive age stated offerings. Despite the great packaging of the released brand, the low proofs, high price and use of chill-filtration has meant we've avoided the brand for the most part here at K&L. While it's not a name that gets people running into the store, there's no question that Macduff is producing some gorgeous Highland malt of the highest quality. Part of what makes it so unique is the use of 5 total stills (2 large wash and 3 smaller spirit) which contribute to the extremely elegant character of this exceptional malt. Not as fruity as Benrinnes and not nearly savory as Mortlach, the only other distillery with this precise setup is actually Talisker. For those looking for purity, complexity and crave the refined flavors of the malt-driven distillates in the eastern Highlands, there's no doubt that you'll fall in love with this most stalwart of malts. Macduff will save Scotland again. Well, at least he'll save you a few bucks, so might as well make him King already.

Staff Reviews

  • Jackson Lee
    By: Jackson Lee
    4/16/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    It’s always fun to review a scotch old enough to order its own scotch and this was no exception. Classic notes on the nose of fresh cut grass, caramel, band aids and sawdust greeted my olfactory nerves like an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. Initially shocked (maybe they gained some weight) but after a while, it’s as if you two were back in the schoolyard days. Taking a sip was warming and slightly surprising. A nice, spicy tingling sensation paired well with the preserved lemon peel marmalade and prune brine flavors. As we began to say our goodbye’s, notes of briney Asian pear lingered with a bit of paraffin. Call it classic, call it old-school, I call it a friend.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    4/12/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    Rich, malty, and possessing just a touch of chewiness. This is an incredibly clean and pure malt. Cereal and honey are the high tones. A bit of caramel and chocolate make up the bass. A real workhorse for the blending industry, it's a bit of a rarity in the US to see the single malt on its own. That's a real shame, since it's an exemplar of pristine malt flavor. A gentle fruitiness rounds out the inherent flavor of the barley. If you like old school Highland Scotch, this cask is for you. It's a thing of beauty.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    4/12/2019
    K&L Staff Member
    This is the first time that I have had the chance to taste a single malt from this distillery. I am glad that I got to have this chance, because this is a very good single malt whisky. With one or two drops of water the nose opens up and is powerful and expressive, with aromas of wax, honey, and wood spice. In the mouth the honey, wax and spice notes continue with a creamy mouthfeel.
  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    11/26/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    There’s a nice breadiness and spice profile on the nose for this Scotch initially. More sniffs reveal licorice notes, fizzy cola, orange zest, lemon, vanilla chews, and rose petals. The palate is more leathery, but just as zesty with bright lemon, orange, and spice. The spice builds – rather than softens – through the finish making this a fun little ride.
  • William Beare
    By: William Beare
    11/18/2018
    K&L Staff Member
    The nose on this single malt is a new experience for me-- the familiar layers of sherry are bulked up by malty, sweet wood spice and loads of raw honey. Familiar flavors swap with exotic ones, and then back again. On the palate, it is a robustly smooth scotch, with controlled spiciness, mouth coating waxiness, with some elegant savory notes that show up late to the party-- but stick around for a long, obsession-inducing finish.

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