A truly exceptional bottling of Dumbarton single grain, produced by Gordon & MacPhail for their beloved Connoisseurs Choice range.
Dumbarton is a lost distillery, its spirit extremely rarely bottled as a single grain, especially at great age.
The Lowland distillery was established by Hiram Walker in the 1930s, as a means of securing a supply of grain and malt for his growing empire of blended whiskies (he had just purchased Ballantine’s). Located in Dunbartonshire, the complex was home to the Inverleven and Lomond malt distilleries.
Dumbarton was also home to several innovations: it feature stainless steel column stills, rather than the traditional Scottish copper Coffey stills, and housed a number of hybrid Lomond stills across its history. The distillery did eventually add some copper to its column stills (a necessary requirement for high quality spirit), but its unusual distilling technique and use of maize as the primary grain produced a distinctly heavy grain whisky.
The spirit was mostly used for Ballantine’s blends, and was never bottled as a single grain during its lifetime. The distillery also housed an unusual security system. In 1959, Hiram Walker introduced 100 Chinese white geese to the distillery warehouse, known as the “Scotch Watch”. These geese have superior eyesight and hearing, and are extremely territorial, they also make quite a lot of noise when disturbed – making them ideal security guards. The geese became an icon of the distillery and were used in Ballantine’s marketing.
The distillery was eventually mothballed in 1985, and demolished in 2002.
This particular expression has been aged for a phenomenal 45 years in a single refill sherry hogshead. The result is a whisky rich in dark dried fruits, rich sweet grain, toasted bread, vanilla, figs, almonds, hazelnut chocolate, treacle tart, caramel, corn, old oak, peppery spice and stewed apples.
Bottled at 44% ABV and beautifully presented in a decanter style bottle with a wooden display case, this is a fantastic all round product. A once in a lifetime dram.
Just 93 bottles were produced.