Tasting: Dumbarton 1986 32 yo by Claxton’s

I like ticking boxes. Especially if it means trying a whisky from a distillery I haven’t tried before – like Dumbarton. Founded in 1938, this grain distillery in Dumbarton, Scotland was closed in 2002 and dismantled a few years afterwards. This bottling by the independen bottler Claxton’s was distilled in 1986. I like 1986 – if only for the fact that it’s my birthyear…

Dumbarton 1986 32 yo by Claxton's

Dram data:
Distillery: Dumbarton
Bottler: Claxton’s
Distilled: 1986
Bottled: 2018
Age: 32 years
Limitation: 96 bottles
Cask: Bourbon Barrel
Alcohol: 57,1%
uncoloured/not chill filtered
Whiskybase link

As is often the case with grain whiskies, the nose has a whiff of glue on the first contact. After the nose adjusts for that, fruits appear. Red apples and dried apricots with … fruity bubble gum. After a while, the age starts to show in the background – molasses and fudge with a hint of oak. Needs plenty of time to develop its full potential.
Score: 88/100

Rather dry on the arrival as the alcohol builds up. Pencil shavings and cereals (unsweetened cornflakes, anyone?). As the alcohol burn dies down the cask makes its appearance – oily, dirty oak juice (in a good way!) with toffee, 100% cocoa chocolate and vanilla pod. Big and bold and showing its age. 
Score: 89/100

There’s an alcoholic kick upon swallowing, followed by dry notes – wood shavings, the dirty, oily oak juices are back, followed by the high-grade chocolate and burnt… vanilla pods? Quite long and satisfying.
Score: 87/100

This was a very pleasant first contact with the now demolished Dumbarton distillery. This whisky needs a lot of time to develop its full potential in the glass. If you grant it that, you’re rewarded with a big, bold, well-aged grain that’s sold at a very good price! 
Overall Score: 88/100

Click to read all my Dumbarton Distillery whisky reviews

This sample was provided free of charge by Claxton’s. No other compensation was provided.

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