This is the first flash blog event I have taken part in, so thanks go to Diageo, The Whisky Wire and Singleton Whiksy for letting me take part! As with most of my stories with whisky, my first experience of Singleton was when I was going on a trip to Scotland. Just before we were due to go, my travelling companion appeared with an odd shaped bottle that looked as if it had been squashed. We were going to near Dufftown en route to Craigellachie and he thought this would be a good way to toast the health of our journey. I think the best part of half the bottle did not live to see the next day and the other half didn't make it to the end of the trip. That was my only experience of this brand but it left a lasting impression. With that in mind, I'm going to stop wittering and pour a dram. Slainte!
The Singleton Malt Master's Selection
Appearance: A vibrant amber with just a hint of red hue.
Nose: Floral, fruity and oh so friendly! Fresh mown grass mingles with crisp green apples; a hint of sweet red liquorice develops as the nose opens up; there is the slightest hint of spice that pricks the sweet citrus from time to time but it adds to, rather than disturbs, the nose; I'm going to say the spice is edging towards ginger for me. (20/25)
Palate: That sweetness from the nose is evident from the first sip; the hard boiled sweets from a tin that are dusted in icing sugar (I don't know the name, but I am confident you will know the ones); liquid caramel coats the palate and lingers as the spice from the nose dials up the intensity; spice, now quite peppery, never becomes dominant but is an ever present tingle on the palate; the vegetal/floral character is subtle but runs through all the other notes, tying them together into a cohesive experience. (22/25)
Finish: The sweetness fades gradually leaving the tingle of spice which concentrates towards the back of the palate; although the caramel sweetness does fade it is there until the end of a medium length finish giving counterpoint to the sharper spice note. (21/25)
Balance: This dram does what it says on the nose. I was expecting a floral, sweet Speyside and that is what I got. However, it had the added bonus of a well-integrated tingle and introduced me to a red liquorice note never before found by me in whisky. A reminder of happy days by the sea with my grandparents (who never could say no to their grandson when it came to another rope of the good stuff) had me sold on this expression! (21/25)
Overall: A good show from The Singleton. I have always argued against the notion that Speyside is a one note region and drams like this help to illustrate my point perfectly. Those who favour Islay malts above all will scoff at the nuance in these floral offerings, but they offer every bit as much as their peated drams. Is it the most challenging whisky ever? No, but neither is it trying to be. This is a bottle I would happily and without reservation pour for the guest who wants to try a nip for the first time equally as often as I would pour it for my more seasoned chums. (84/100)