What do you do when your distillery closes, or you find one or two barrels of forgotten whiskey in your old rickhouse? Why, you sell to Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company, of course. Originated by spirits giant Diageo to sell one-off bottlings from long-lost bourbon barrels, Orphan Barrel has expanded to include Scotch and other whiskies. As a result, they’ve released a truly spectacular Scotch whisky from long-lost barrels found at the now-defunct Port Dundas Distillery.
Everything about this whisky is unique, including its name: “Muckety-Muck.” Supposedly eponymous for an award-winning breeder pig raised on distillery dregs, the term also denotes high stature and importance. That explanation fits perfectly. It’s unusual enough to find a single grain (no barley) Scotch, but 25-year aging places it in exceedingly rare company. Coupled with a severely limited supply, Muckety-Muck 25 Single Grain Scotch is well-suited for the most refined palates.
Opening the bottle is like letting out a genie. The intense aromas enticingly rise upon opening the bottle and are amplified by swirling in a proper nosing glass. Intense toffee and warm apple-crisp notes lead to fresh orchard fruits and hints of oak, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla cream chews. On the palate, it’s slightly drying but round and full-bodied. Fruit-forward flavors are clean and juicy, followed by caramel, toasted oak, and hints of leather and more spice. The finish is long and succulent, with big baked pie and sugar-cookie notes, leading to more crisp fruits and hints of green peppercorns, blackstrap, butterscotch, and vanilla. Sipping it reminds me of relaxing in a well-worn leather armchair by a warm winter fire.
This whiskey begs to be sipped and savored, a truly magnificent example of single grain Scotch. Plus, given the age, it’s a bargain at $250-$300 per bottle, if you can find it!