Singleton of Glendullan Liberty Review

“Body Without Soul”

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside 
Brand: The Singleton of Glendullan Liberty (Reserve Collection)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS 
ABV: 40%

Colour: Golden Amber

Nose: I would say that the Liberty matured in a mix of Refill Ex-Bourbon casks and some Refill Ex-Sherry casks. On the Nose, the main drivers are Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Caramel, Nuts and Dried Fruits. I also find Refill Oak, light Vanilla, Pineapple Jam, Red Apple, Ginger Bread and traces of Leather and Tobacco. The Liberty has a Young and Light feel to it. It's quite Sweet as well. The Alcohol is not fully integrated.   

Taste: Young, Light, slightly Thin and Sugary Sweet. It's a Single Malt that on the Palate might appeal to beginning Whisky Drinkers. For more experienced Malt drinkers however, the Liberty does not offer sufficient Depth. It's all a bit boring and plain-vanilla. I get mostly Toast, Caramel, Toffee, Dried Fruit, Apple White Grape Juice, Hazelnuts Pepper and Ginger. I also find hints of Chocolate, Honey, Refill Oak, Dried Herbs, Tobacco and Malt.      

Finish: Short, quite Sweet in the beginning but slightly Bitter-Sweet and a little Dry towards the end. I find Cocoa Powder, Dried Herbs, Ginger-Flavoured Tea, Toffee, light Honey and Pepper.  

I added a few drops of Water and the Nose becomes Thin and slightly Floral. The Barley and Apple also come to the foreground. Palate and Finish become too Thin. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 81.5   

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks: The first Glendullan Distillery was founded in Dufftown by William Williams & Sons in 1896. In 1962, a second Glendullan Distillery was built next to the old one. They operated together until the old distillery was closed in 1985. The current owner is Diageo. Most of the Spirit of Glendullan was and is -used in Blends like Old Parr, JW, Dewar's and Bell's. As of 2007, the Single Malts produced at Glendullan, Glen Ord and Dufftown are marketed under the name "The Singleton". The standard Glendullan is the 12 years. In 2013 two special Travel Retail Glendullan Reserve Collection expressions were launched in the Americas, the Trinity and the Liberty. They were both created by Maureen Robinson, the Singleton Master of Malts. The 1 liter bottle of the Liberty is sold at an average 90 US Dollars (January 2016).  

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Okay/Good. As I got a full 1 liter bottle, I took the Liberty to enjoy it on the Rocks as well. And I must say it's simple but enjoyable.

Conclusion: The Glendullan Liberty is a Single Malt that is clearly composed to please as many people as possible, especially those who usually drink Blended Scotch and buy the occasional Glenlivet or Glenfiddich when they visit the Travel Retail Shops. I say this because the Liberty is smooth, easily drinkable, quite Sweet and without any aggressive notes. In this way the Liberty does what it's supposed to do although it's too expensive for what it really offers. For those of you though who enjoy Single Malts on a regular basis, the Liberty does not offer sufficient interesting Aromas and Flavours. It has a body but it ain't got Soul!
Jan van den Ende                                                                 February 1, 2016

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