A Pair of Old Particulars That’ll Scratch Your Whisky Itch
It’s been a few months since we last offered an Old Particular selection, but, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. In this case, we have two very good things to reward your patience. The Port Dundas 28-Year-Old and Invergordon 26-Year-Old are hand-selected picks that will leave many a whisky lover beaming. Aged to perfection, these single grain whiskies are not only a pure delight to drink, but their prices (like all of our Old Particular selections) are unbelievable good. Nowhere else will you find whiskies with age statements like these so affordably priced. Both expressions are soft and pure, revealing the subtle complexity that only 20-plus years in a barrel can offer. Both are bottled at cask strength, which means there’s some power here, but nuanced tones are the name of the game. Having arrived just in time for the fall, these are contemplative whiskies to sit back and enjoy on a cool evening. If you’ve enjoyed the single grain whiskies from Old Particular before, then you’ll certainly want to pick up this tantalizing pair.
1991 Invergordon 26 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)
Invergordon is a grain distillery situated north of Inverness on the Cormarty Firth. They’ve specialized in production of grain whisky for blends, but like so many things in whisky, with a little time comes greatness. We’ve snagged this cask of 26 year old grain whisky to showcase just how complex single grain can be on its own. It is the kind of dram you can come back to over and over again and pick apart the intricacies that only two and a half decades in cask can provide. Think of this like over-proofed, over-aged bourbon, but for under $100 bucks and without the intense tannin that comes from decades in heavily charred new oak.
David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018
I used to look at single grain like single malt-light. Great values and solid whiskies, but never with the oomph I was craving until they were 40+ years old. But my views on single grain have been amended in the past few years as I got more experience enjoying the delicate subtleties of our single cask selections. It’s one thing to taste and determine if these whiskies are valuable and saleable, it’s quite another to sit down and drink a bottle over the course of a few days, weeks or months. I do find that that’s what it takes for me to become intimate with a whisky and while it’s easy to tell good from bad whisky in a tasting environment, I consider an open bottle on the shelf a long term relationship. Like any relationship it evolves. I’ve found my relationship with this category evolving as well. While it’s undeniable that single malt is king, it’s really hard to argue that, for those who crave a nuanced and long term relationship with their tipple of choice, single grain offers a lot of benefits. The first thing about this Invergordon, like many great single grains, is that the first nosing is pleasant and appealing, but never grabs hold of you like a big bold Islay or chewy Highlander. But, if you sit for a while and let the whisky come to you instead of forcing yourself onto what you believe it should be, there’s so much more going on there. The easy going flavors of coconut and candied sugar evolve into a timid yet vibrant mixture of dried citrus, wet gravel, agave nectar, honeysuckle and vanilla flower. And despite all the very subtle lissome aromas on the nose, the moment this stuff hits your lips, it explodes. Rich, buttery, warm and structured, there’s absolutely nothing boring about this! Some of the citrus comes through as well the darker rock tone from the nose. Otherwise, we’re moving more toward yellow plums and cream soda. Some cracked pepper and woodsy barrel spice keep it nice and dry, but I’d avoid putting any more than the tiniest drop of water here just to open up the nose. This is esoterica for the masses, opaque, in need of a bit of teasing to open up, but with just the right amount of life to keep you coming back.
Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018
KL has championed single grain whisky for a long time. Every time we have a new cask land, this approach is reaffirmed. It’s an incredibly affordable alternative to single malt and offers a unique look at impressive age statements without breaking the bank. My favorite thing about old grain is the slightly tropical, often coconut, notes that develop around the 20-25 year mark. It’s a lovely flavor and this bottle of Invergordon has it in spades. Not to mention all of the other complexity and nuance that develops in that kind of time frame. It’s an array of vanilla and wood spice intermixed with fruits, nuts, and glazed donuts. It holds its 55.5% proof perfectly. Drink it neat or with a drop of two of water to really open things up. An ice cube doesn’t go too far if you like to cool things down. Hell, at this price, you can afford to mix it into your favorite version of a Horse’s Neck. It’s a perfect match with the spice of the ginger.
Miles Philippe | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2018
A lovely, sweet vanilla nose is the first thing that greets you in this Scotch! Honey comes second, followed by baked pears glazed in sugar, fresh out of the oven with some nutmeg on top. The texture is soft and enveloping; as if you bundled up in a great big blanket made out velvety gold. The finish leaves notes of marzipan, caramel, dark honey, and baking spices that bid you farewell like old friends; one of those goodbyes that take half an hour and that no one wants to end.
Shaun Green | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018
When a single grain Scottish whisky hits it right, the experience is incredible. The Invergordon 26 definitely hits the mark. Very smooth and creamy texture even at full proof, then it opens and becomes more fruity and honeyed. Non peaty and extremely high quality whisky with age, elegance and power – and at an extremely attractive price. Don’t let the single grain designation throw you, it’s fantastic! What’s not to like here?
Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 07, 2018
Single barrel cask strength grain whiskeys have been very popular at KL. This selection of Invergordon is a good reason why. It is soft, mature and mellow. Without water the nose is reserved and opens up with a splash of water showing pretty floral and caramel aromas. Without water, in the mouth it is reserved again, but really opens up with some water becoming creamy with subtle soft spice. Interesting and easy, the Invergordon is worth taking a look at.
1988 Port Dundas 28 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)
Closed by Diageo in 2009, Port Dundas was formerly a grain distillery that operated in North Glasgow, providing the base whiskies for White Horse and Johnnie Walker. Over the years we have bottled a number of wonderful old grain casks for reasonable prices, and today is no exception. This 28 year old beauty is a candyland of excitement. It has flashes of sweet stone fruit and strawberry preserve. The palate jumps from toasted, candied coconut to vanilla shortbread and then back to honey granola and cinnamon sugar toast. There is a glazed nutty finish and enough punch from the 52.9% alcohol to keep everything on track and never cloying. The days of drinking closed distilleries at reasonable prices feel like they’re long gone, but in the grain whiskey sector, the dream of drinking distilleries past is alive and well!
David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2018
Port Dundas has distilled some of the best single grain whisky I’ve ever tasted. What was a simple whisky in its youth has concentrated after nearly thirty years in a refill hogshead into something utterly delectable. This whisky is all about nuance, showing impeccable but slightly shy orchard fruit on the nose. With air it starts to open up, reminding me of Williams Birne eau-de-vie, a light toasty nose of creamy grain, and hints of herbs and dried leaves. On the palate, we have tons of candied apple, big vanilla bean, sprinkled with a little cocoa. I love to sell these as drier less oaky bourbon although we’ll never know if it was distilled from corn or wheat, but this is the perfect gift for someone when you don’t know their tastes, or if you want to offer something unusual without scaring off your less experienced friends. Plus-28 years for less than $90, that’s impressive on its own.
Shaun Green | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018
The 28 year old Port Dundas from Old Particular shows a wonderful shortbread and apricot nose with a nice lemon rind citrus thread. It has a great grip to it at full proof or with a touch of water, but the water really opens this up to a broad fruity and slightly spicy palate, finishing with a great dose of grain and spice. It’s hard to believe this was meant for blending into JW Red or White Horse; it’s fantastic! I love the single grain whiskies from Scotland as a nice counterpoint to the single malts, showing why whisky is the king in Scotland!
Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 08, 2018
Another good example of cask strength grain whisky. The Port Dundas showed best for me without water. The nose was expressive with delicate caramel notes. In the mouth this is a whisky of finesse, with delicate and layered caramel notes that are enjoyable and interesting. Addition of water continued the same flavor profile but everything was softer and lighter.
Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/old-particular-is-back-at-kl-california-featuring-port-dundas-28-year-old-invergordon-26-year-old-scotch-whisky-news/