When I first heard the names of the two new releases from The Singleton, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they (Sunray and Tailfire) instantly brought to mind images of my high school.
As I’ve mentioned before on this site, I tend to be quite a visual person, so I knew there must be a reason for that instantaneous connection in my mind’s eye.
And soon enough, it hit me.
It wasn’t memories of grey hallways, skipped gym classes and spring afternoons laying on the field in the sunshine with my friends that these whiskies were trying to unearth.
It was – more simply – a mixed wire messaging from my brain unearthing a car that was popular amongst all the most annoying jocks and ‘cool kids’ at the time: the Pontiac Sunfire.
And now, even after I’ve realised that this connection has little to do with the actual whiskies – being an amalgamation of the two names – I can’t get it out of my head when I think about these new releases.
But, I suppose rather than me re-living my high school days, you’re probably more interested in what these new whiskies are actually like.
To start, it is not only the names that stand out but the bottles. And, I can’t say I’m a massive fan. Each are much thinner but, therefore, much taller, making them seem a bit cumbersome in the hand when pouring. I love the bottle colour – a lovely aqua blue in the light – but I always tend to prefer less bulky looking bottles.
Luckily, it is not just the bottle which makes a whisky. So what do they smell and taste like? Here’s what I think of each of these two new NAS releases from the Speyside distillery.
The Singleton of Dufftown Tailfire: 40%: £36:
(c): Apricot Jam
(n): Really floral to start – lots of butterscotch that’s tempered by some lovely notes of red roses and orange blossoms. Something a bit earthy in there too which also balances out the sweetness that could be overwhelming.
(p): Leads with lots of fruit: raspberries and warm strawberries covered in toffee sauce. Hardly any bite to it, making it very drinkable.
(f): Sweetheart candies.
In conclusion: A sweet, vibrant whisky. Not overly complex but easily drinkable. A great summertime dram.
The Singleton of Dufftown Sunray: 40%: £39:
(c): Candied oranges
(n): Fruit led but more acidic, yellowy fruit: apricots and nectarines, with a good dash of lemon balm. Zingy and appealing.
(p): Toffee/vanilla to start, with some boiled sweets and apricots. A bit of that lemon balm characteristic there on second sip. Quite a quick finish but very clean.
(f): Peaches and cream oatmeal.
In conclusion: I really love the nose on this one, I just wanted the palate to have a bit more oomph. Would be keen to try this at a slightly stronger strength to see if those more sharp acidic notes from the nose would hold through better. Easily drinkable though.