[August, 2017] The last Macduff I tried https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/58969/macduff-1974-hb was a true tastebud killer (I had to stop tasting sessions for several days until my tastebuds recovered from that). So I hope this young stuff will not do the same but in case of doubt I do them in a head-to-head: This 64,5% versus its sister cask with 65,8% https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/86386/macduff-2007-twc.
Colour: The 64% is about one shade darker at yellow gold than the 65% that is about old gold. The texture shows late little tears and very late slow legs on both drams (so it is rather light).
Nose: The 65% offers a light modern sherry profile with some cheesy aromas that go away after a while. The 64% is more punchy and closed but after a while some modern sherry aromas shine through without the cheesy off-notes of the other dram. Certainly both cry for water but neat I like the 64% better. Both are neither impressive nor interesting (in my opinion) but okayish for such young stuff. I vote for a draw.
Mouthfeel: The 64% arrives hot and peppery on the palate with just very little coating effects. Same with the 65% what is no surprise as both had the same light texture. This is a clear draw.
Taste: The 65% offers a typical light modern sherry profile that is quite okayish for a 9-year old. The taste of the 64% is bolder and more impressive but unfortunately this comes from a slight sulphury trace (that is bearable but nevertheless unwanted). As I do not like sulphur in any concentration I clearly prefer the clean sherry style of the 65%.
Finish: Both are rather short and do not add any additional flavours to the profile. But as there are no distracting moments like bitterness or drying either this is okay. Again I like the clean 65% a little better than the slightly sulphury 64%.
Surprisingly even a fair share of water added does not release any more aromas both in the nose and on the palate - the drams get smoother to drink but that's it! The noses even get more punchy and spirity and the sulphur pops up earlier. So I like both drams better when neat (what is often the case with sherried whiskies).
These are quite young drams (in my opinion still underaged) but taking this into account they are okayish for that. Not really something I would ask for a second dram but I had a lot much worser drams over the last years. The slight sulphury notes in this 64,5% are acceptable and probably a lot of drinkers will appreciate these as an additional flavours compound that provide more "oompf" to the taste.