In the world of independent scotch merchants, brokers and bottlers, Duncan Taylor is one of the most important names. For me, this was the first private label scotch that I ever tried, and I tried 3 of their recent bottlings all from single casks: Caol Isla 1981 27 year old, Dallas Dhu 1981 27 year old, and The Dalmore 1990 17 year old.
Founded in 1938 in Glasgow, Duncan Taylor did most of its business as a cask broker until very recently, when the company’s focus switched to developing its own brand, with the distilleries as a secondary note on their many different bottlings. The bottling facility, in Huntly, Aberdeenshire is now also distilling with a planned 2018 first release.
With such a large selection of single casks aging in their cellars, Duncan Taylor is able to produce a very wide range of offerings, up to 200 different bottlings per year. The whisky I tried was from the Rarest of the Rare, cask strength malts over 17 years old. Other brands you may encounter are Battlehill, young malts at 43% and Big Smoke, Islay malts at 40%. Recently a new brand was offered -Peerless. Price point and quality? Take a guess – the first batch included:
- Bowmore 40, 42.3%
- Glenrothes 40, 50.2%
- Macduff 40, 45.5%
- Tamdhu 40, 40%
- Tomatin 43, 52.1%
I’ll mention my own tasting notes for Caol Isla 27, Dallas Dhu 27 and Dalmore 17 over the next week. To give you a hint of what to expect, check some outside reviews for Macallan 1969, Caperdonich 1972, Royal Lochnagar 1990 and Strathclyde 1980. A common note for Duncan Taylor bottled whiskies is “oily.”