Dumbarton single grain whisky distillery was founded by Hiram Walker and opened in 1938 on the site of the former McMillan shipyard on Castle St. Dumbarton. At one point it held the honour of being the largest distillery in Scotland and was the major contributor of grain whisky to Ballantine's blends.

Sadly, by 2002 it was in a state of disrepair and had seen no reconstruction, refurbishment or modernisation since it had been built, in fact the column stills reached up through concrete floors, making refurbishment virtually impossible so Allied chose to close the distillery and move production to their Strathclyde facility.




D.Laing, Clan Denny, Dumbarton, 46y, 1964, 47.4% ABV

Refill Hogshead, Cask No.7542

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Brassy gold

Nose: Oak, butterscotch and rich toffee, almost treacle toffee. The butterscotch develops and expands further with time in the glass. This has lots of character and a wonderful imposing presence on the nose.

Palate: Smooth, very smooth mouth-feel with lots of that butterscotch and mild wood. I'm now reminded of a childhood delight from the fairgrounds called brandy snap. It's a kind of toffee, but crunchy and usually made into basket shapes, hence the name brandy snap baskets. Mmm, wonderful!

Finish: Extremely long and gentle.

Overall Impression: A delightful single grain from a not only closed but sadly lost forever distillery.



Alambic Classique, Dumbarton, 50y, 1964, 53.1% ABV

Cask Ref. No.14310, bourbon cask

Finished for over 5 years in Grande Champagne Cognac cask

Bottle No.203 of 248

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale amber

Nose: Delightfully aromatic and sweet reminding me of Autumn flowers in the sunshine alongside a mild woodiness.

Palate: Mouth-coating (almost solid) but yet tingly with a suggestion of ginger, perhaps ginger bread? Or even gingler flapjack? Also a suggestion of toffee alongside a floral sweetness.

Finish: Extremely long with lots of ginger.

Overall Impression: Floral ginger flapjack? Brilliant, just brilliant. A Great? I think so.



Cadenhead's (Dumpy series), Dumbarton, 25y, 46% ABV

Distilled February 1959, bottled October 1984

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold

Nose: This is all mild and gentle with suggestions of a sweet floweriness and even mildly perfumed.

Palate: Even the palate is mild and gentle with floral hints alongside ginger snap which is a delightful memory from the fairgrounds of my childhood. The whole experience, although mild spreads gently across the palate.

Finish: Surprisingly long, very long.

Overall Impression: I love the ginger snap. A gentle giant with hidden depths.



The Grain Man, Dumbarton,  30y, 52.2% ABV

Distilled March 1987, bottled March 2017

Refill bourbon cask No.20012, one of 344 bottles

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright yellow gold

Nose: Very mildly metallic (but not very much) note which quickly fades, leaving aromas of biscuit and a fruity woodiness.

Palate: Creamy but peppery mouth-feel also suggests toffee and some fruitiness.

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: It may sound simple but it's still lovely.








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