Master of Malt meets Malt Master through a new Singleton expression from Dufftown Distillery: The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection!
For us whisky-loving folk, there are few things we adore more than a big product launch to get all excited about. Diageo Reserve observed this fact, and so threw a big event to launch its latest labour of love: The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection!
The label design has been reinvigorated, the palate has been tweaked and the motive is clear: this is a spirit that will try to appeal to a wider, modern and perhaps whisky-shy consumer base. “This isn’t supposed to be patronising – it’s supposed to be welcoming and engaging,” summarised Ervin Trykowski, global Scotch whisky ambassador at Diageo. “It’s supposed to be the opposite of how you’ve talked about Scotch whisky before.”
The Singleton is pitching the new bottling as the perfect introduction for those who are new to single malts, or indeed the world of whisky as a whole. However, it’s hoped that the edition will also appeal to those more well-versed in the category. This is a difficult balance to strike. We journeyed to the launch event at 100 Wardour Street, Soho, London to test this water of life and see how it fared…
How The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection was created
While this a new whisky with an updated look, from a production aspect the tradition and heritage of The Singleton and Dufftown Distillery remains. Distillation has taken place at Dufftown for over 120 years, and this single malt was created in much the same vein as many others, with a long fermentation and slow distillations.
The Singleton master of malts (cool name bro) Craig Wilson hand-selected and blended the whisky. The name of brand acknowledges this, and each bottling carries his signature accordingly. The maturation took place in European and American oak casks with three variants; ex-wine, ex-sherry and ex-bourbon.
And then there’s the design. A lot of attention has been focused on the simplification, presentation and marketability of the label. “Even the packaging is straddling the modern and the traditional,” Trykowski explained. The tradition aspect can be observed in the distinctive green bottle, which was inspired by 19th-century hip flasks blown from blue glass. The updated text and branding demonstrates the ambition to appeal to modern consumers, with its clearer, cleaner and more contemporary style.
The design is intended to be eye-catching and informative, which extends to the ‘single malt whisky’ embossed on the bottle’s front, as well as the batch number listing, Wilson’s signature, and tasting notes.
In celebration of the launch, Diageo has refreshed the whole core range, including the 12, 15 and 18 year old. And be warned: and the current Singleton of Dufftown series of Tailfire, Spey Cascade and Sunray will be replaced, so get ‘em while you can!
The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection: The signature serves
At The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection launch, it was clear there’s an ambition for the bottling to be a part of new conversations around Scotch. “We spend our entire life telling people how not to drink Scotch,” Trykowski reasoned. “But we’re trying to talk about it in a modern, new way.”
The event was structured to demonstrate the versatility of The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection through the medium of three alternative serves. Here they are, in case you fancy trying them yourself…
The Malt Master’s Selection on Ice
First up was The Malt Master’s Selection on Ice, a simple ‘Scotch on the rocks’: 50ml of The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection over a block of ice in a tumbler. “In traditional boozers up north, I’ll get in trouble for ordering what I want to drink. But this one of my favourite ways to drink Scotch,” Trykowski revealed. The whisky’s prickling spice was suppressed, and in its place, sweet toffee and orchard fruits became emphasised. “If somebody is not sure about Scotch whisky, this is a really cool way to get them started,” Trykowski explained.
The Singleton & Soda
Next up was The Singleton & Soda, a Whisky Highball made with 50ml of The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection and 120ml soda water, garnished with half an orange wheel and served in a highball filled with cubed ice. The beauty in the simplicity of a Highball was highlighted here in an extremely refreshing serve.
As a supple and delicately sweet dram, The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection was detectable without being overpowering with soda. “What we should be saying to people is Singleton is rich, ripe, fruity, and it’s great with soda water because that’s all they need to know, not how not to do it,” Trykowski explained.
The final serve was a Trykowski take (with help from The Crucible) on an Old Fashioned. The Re-fashioned was made from 50ml The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection, 15ml raw raspberry syrup and a dash of Angostura Bitters, garnished with olive leaves and served over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
This was a personal highlight, as the fruit, spice and grassiness of the tipple were matched exquisitely by the syrup, bitters and garnish respectively. Keeping consumer accessibility in mind, Trykowski explained the thinking behind this choice of serve. “What this [drink] allows you to do is present an idea to your customers that’s just three ingredients with specific measurements. From there they can make it their own, and before you know it, they have a signature cocktail.”
What’s your serve of The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection?
However you wish to enjoy The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection, the good news is that it will arrive at MoM Towers soon. The only question that remains is – how will you take yours? Whatever your choice is we hope you enjoy the dram. Let us know how you savoured yours it in the comments below!
Tasting notes for The Singleton of Dufftown Malt Master’s Selection:
Nose: Soft orchard fruit esters develop into boiled apple candies. White pepper begins to crackle through golden syrup and buttered bread, with a little marzipan icing in the backdrop.
Palate: A slightly oily palate carries more sweet notes of rich toffee, vanilla and a suggestion of pear drops. A green, grassy undertone lingers throughout as a youthful, vibrant spice prickles away.
Finish: The spice dissipates among more vanilla and a little wood ash.
Overall: A thoroughly enjoyable dram of whisky that absolutely works in a variety of serves.