Bought – ASDA, 3rd November 2014
79/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
77.3/100 – Whiskybase (average from 82 member votes)
With the name “tailfire” I was a bit worried about the finish on this whisky. Is it designed to set your palate on fire? Or does it mean I’ll have indigestion for a week after drinking it? Or perhaps a ‘tail fire’ more commonly experienced after a hot curry?! The ‘tailfire’ actually refers to a salmon fly, used for fishing, although the tail pictured on the back of the whisky box looks more like that of a dragon’s! (I now realise it’s supposed to be a fish hook, not a tail).
The Dufftown Distillery hasn’t exactly been setting the world of whisky on fire in recent years with their lacklustre 12yo, so it’s nice to see some new releases aimed at injecting life into the brand. Although the current rating on Whiskybase isn’t great, it’s not bad either. The member, and expert vlogger, Mark Dermul summaries his review of this new malt with “The difference with the Sunray is quite clear. This one is much better. A nice addition of red and dark fruit and a wonderful finish. Again eminently quaffable and friendly priced, so if I had to make a choice, I would take this Tailfire home.”
Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible only has 3 words to say about the Tailfire, which are “tailspin, more like”. Not exactly complimentary and 79/100 classifies this single malt as “average, and usually pleasant though sometimes flawed”.
Here’s SingeMaltManiac with their thoughts about the Tailfire on YouTube (Nov 2015):
Bought – Morrisons, 16th October 2014
80/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
76.66/100 – Whiskybase (average from 92 member voters)
If I’d saved all the money I’d spent over the last year on inferior whisky, I’m sure I could have bought a 30yo bottle of Highland Park by now. But with whisky I’m inclined to go for quantity before quality. I’d rather get 20 bottles of £20 so-so whisky than spent £400 on one bottle. I can guarantee I wouldn’t sip the expensive bottle and think “mmm, worth every penny!” I would expect a £380 difference between a cheap and expensive whisky to mean the 30yo Highland Park would blow my mind. It wouldn’t. And neither will the Singleton ‘Spey Cascade’ but, for £24.69, you know what to expect.
In winter 2013 I resisted buying the Singleton 12-year-old when it was reduced to £22 in supermarkets because the reviews were poor-to-average at best. Finally this new Singleton NAS (non-aged statement) ‘Spey Cascade’ suckered me in. If nothing else, it has a nice bottle shape. Initial votes on Whiskybase didn’t look very promising (low 70s) but after 92 votes it’s climbed to nearly 77/100, which is respectable.
Jim Murray added the Spey Cascade to his Whisky Bible in the 2017 edition and scoring 80/100 is “good whisky worth trying”. Not that you’d think that from his review where he says “a dull whisky, stodgy and a little dry on the nose. Improves the longer it stays on the palate thanks mainly to the sympathetic sugars and an ingratiating oiliness. But if you’re looking for quality, prepare to be disappointed.”
Here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com on YouTube with his thoughts about the Spey Cascade (Sept 2014):
Acquired 3rd October 2013. Part of my ‘Customs & Excise’ collection.
79/100 – Malt Maniacs (from 4 review)
I thought this was a NAS until I did a bit of research and discovered that a little label is missing that says this malt is ‘Over 8-years-old’. This form of the Dufftown was first bottled in 1985, so when I finally drink it I’ll make sure I dust off my old Bananarama album for some appropriate background music. Then I’ll play ‘Don’t Go’ by the Hothouse Flowers when I get to the last few drops.