Taste: Duthies Islay Region Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Duthies is Cadenhead’s own blended malt whiskies divided into the 4 notable regions of Scotland. For those unaware this is Highland, Lowland, Campbeltown and of course Islay. The range is named after the nephew of William Cadenhead, who in 1904 took over the company and realised the potential offered by blended malt whiskies and not just single cask, single malt releases.

This range is now apparently coming to an end, so before it vanished forever I wanted to cover each region with a taste review. The attraction of the range is not only quality components within the bottle, it is also the price point of £28.50. From what I’ve experienced of the Duthies range to date, the pricing is very attractive for the quality dram itself. With supermarkets offering (somehow) official single malt releases for under £35, or their own labelled regional releases for circa £20, the pricing is about right and competition is fierce.

I’m a huge fan of Cadenhead’s and their releases but without this Duthies range, potentially there is a gap forming if you walk into their store with less than £40 to spend. Perhaps this is all part of a new masterplan and with changes aplenty we’ll have to see what’s in store (excuse the pun) when the range officially dries up.

Distillery: Blended malt Scotch whiskies from Islay
Strength: 46%
Cask: matured in an oak cask
Price: £28.50

Colour: chardonnay

Aroma: that distinctive Islay essence. Not a huge amount of peat here but just enough, I’m also detecting a little sherry creaminess, refreshing lime and pine nuts. The backdrop is that chemical, detergent metallic undercoat that screams ISLAY!!!!

Taste: a little charcoal, eucalyptus, roasted coffee beans that richness could be mistaken for a pungent beef stock and Skye sea salt which transmits into the lasting finish. Why Skye sea salt? It’s hugely salty and recommended if you can find any. 

We’ll never know which distilleries go into this blended malt specifically such is the nature of blending and the secrets of the master blender. Cadenhead’s do have access to a huge range of casks from most of the Islay distilleries. These could be a combination of ages and strengths; perhaps even older stock to use up the last drops from a cask.


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