After a long wait, Dingle Distillery is finally releasing its fifth (and last) Single Pot Still small batch. Like with the fourth which was released at the end of 2020, it is available in two versions, one reduced at 46.5% ABV and one delivered at cask strength, in smaller quantities. Now, I want to add a disclaimer before I review the fourth and fifth releases, both in their reduced version.
First, let’s start with a disclaimer. I talked about it in my look back at 2021 post before, but I really want to be upfront about this. Back in September 2021, I had the chance to “work” for Dingle at Whisky Live Paris. During the three days of this whisky show, I joined my friend Graham Coull, Dingle’s master distiller, his lovely and long-suffering wife Fay, and Steven O’Carroll, their International Export Manager, on the pouring side of the booth. There, for three days, I poured drams to visitors and professionals, talking about the distillery’s history, the whiskeys I was pouring, how they were made and all. Though I offered my services for free, Dingle covered all my expenses and even gifted me a few bottles of their whiskey. That is why, though I still want to review these two Single Pot Still expressions, I won’t give them a rating, and will limit my comments to a comparison between the two. Though I can (and always do) review whiskeys in an impartial way, including when I received samples for free, I don’t want any doubt about my integrity. Now, let’s get to the “review” of these Dingle Fourth & Fifth Single Pot Still Releases.
I still need to review their Sixth Single Malt Release, both in reduced and cask strength versions, and as for the Single Pot Stills, I won’t rate them. However, I previously reviewed the Fifth Single Malt Small Batch and their core range Single Malt, and if you read the review, you’ll have noticed there were ratings. These whiskeys were reviewed before I even considered offering my services to Dingle, and the bottles were bought with my own money. Thus, at that time, there was no risk of partiality.
Dingle Fourth Single Pot Still Release Review
The Fourth SPS Release was… released back in 2020. Maturation took place in first fill casks, with a ratio of 73% bourbon casks and 27% Oloroso. 8000 bottles were released at a reduced version of 46.3% ABV, while there were also 500 ones released at cask strength (59.9% ABV). In both cases, they were bottled without chill filtration nor colouring. Even though it was a small batch, you can still quite easily find the reduced version from 80€ in Germany (RRP was 89.95€ in Ireland) to 95€ in France at La Maison du Whisky, up to 100€ in the Netherlands (and more in Norway and Switzerland). This review is made from a bottle gifted by Dingle.
Spicy and fruity at first, with a slight sourness. Pot still spices play around wild blackberries and blueberries, dates, figs and raisins. Candied ginger, old books, some dried herbs (tarragon, thyme) and dried flowers in a pot pourri. A sourness seems to come from citrus fruits, maybe oranges and pink grapefruit with sugar dusted on it.
Spicy and a bit sour arrival, with milk chocolate and roasted coffee beans. The flowers and herbs from the nose can be found on the palate as well, so do the fruits. A little bit of wood invites itself to the palate, I wonder if the Oloroso casks were made from Spanish wood.
Floral, with cough syrup, caramel, a touch of wood. Slightly drying, quite long.
Rating: I said I wouldn’t rate it/100
Dingle Fifth Single Pot Still Release Review
This fifth SPS Release will be the last of the SPS Small batches. This means that we can expect a Single Pot Still permanent expression to join the Single Malt permanent one into Dingle’s core range. No idea yet when it’ll be released, though. Back to this fifth, latest and last, for now. It was released this morning (24 March 2022) at 10am BST. This fifth smal batch is matured exclusively in bourbon casks. Like the previous small batch, 8000 bottles of the reduced version were released. However, the Cask Strength version had an outturn of 1000 bottles. The reduced one has a 46.5% ABV, whilst the CS one has a 59.5% ABV. Both are non-chill filtered and without colouring. The RRP for the reduced one is €90, whilst the CS, that we’ll review soon (I’ve ordered a bottle) has a RRP of €190, which I must admit made me cough. At the time of writing, the 46.5% is still available on Dingle’s website, Irishmalts or Celtic Whiskey Shop for instance, and soon in other countries, whilst the CS is already sold out. This review is made from a generous sample sent by Graham Coull before the release.
You’re greeted with vanilla, honey and pot still spices. Generously salted butter made raspberry tart with pastry cream, lightly dusted with black pepper. Then the nose moves to orchard fruits like apricot, peaches and plum. Cinnamon and cream soda bring sweet spices to the table. Sliced roasted almonds.
Soft creamy arrival, with the pot still herbal spices arriving after a few seconds delay. Rich vanilla and honey notes, bounty chocolate bar (coconut and milk chocolate), mint, and frangipane. A few drops of lemon juice.
Again those pot still herbal spices, honey, orange zest, with a soft and nice warmth. Medium length.
Rating: I said no rating. Stop it./100
You can clearly feel the difference between the two, and what the 23% of oloroso casks brought to the fourth release. I must admit I really appreciate being able to taste the Dingle Single Pot Still ‘almost’ naked, with a maturation only in bourbon casks, but I really do enjoy the fourth as well. I won’t go deeper into the expression of my appreciation for those two Single Pot Still small batches, though. I’ll let you decide if you want them and if you need to buy none, one or the both of them.