It has been some time since i had some Dalmore whisky and i am not sure why.. Founded back in 1839 by Alexander Matheson and today boasts a capacity of 4.3 million litres of alcohol under the ownership of Whyte and Mackay ( Emperador Inc ) With a rich history and loyal following the distillery also has its many critics, with most of them concentrating on the use of e150 within the range..
For those who may not know, E150 is the product used to add colour to liquids in order to make them look darker than they actually are, does it effect the taste or aroma of the whisky ? in my opinion No.. That said many will argue with me on this one but to be honest that is their prerogative and it is not something i am going to loose sleep over..
For me the use of E150 within whisky is only a mind thing, convince yourself its only there for aesthetics and it will not detract from your enjoyment then you can simply move past, if you cant then believe me you are going to miss out on some fabulous whiskies..
Obviously the first thing about whisky that you will notice is the colour and if that is enhanced then is it a false start, yes i guess in a way it is but it has your attention so its done its job, personally i take very little notice of colour when reviewing whisky, i will obviously look and try to determine a few things upfront but i also appreciate it might have had a little help..
I have seen other reviewers pour a bottle of whisky away because they found it had E150 in and this is after giving a positive review, my message to you in these circumstances is ” Get over yourself” there are far more important things in life to worry about….
Anyway i digress.. Dalmore, the whisky, first impressions i have on this whisky is the presentation, i dont often talk about presentation but the bottles that this liquid comes in are eye catching to say the least, i love the stag head mounted on the front and this comes from the following story..
” The Dalmore’s heritage dates back to 1263. It was in this year that Colin of Kintail, Chief of the Clan Mackenzie, saved King Alexander III from the fury of a charging stag. In recognition of this noble act the King granted the Mackenzie Clan the right to use the 12 pointed Royal stag emblem on their coat of arms.
When descendants of the Clan became owners of The Dalmore distillery in 1867, the Royal Stag became the recognisable icon that proudly adorns each bottle of The Dalmore today; an emblem which encapsulates a rich past whilst also embodying a promise that The Dalmore will remain at the pinnacle of single malt.”
One thing that is clear, Dalmore, like some other whiskies out there has a standing within the industry, the heritage and drive seems to have elevated the stature to another level, collectors buy up the more prestige releases like their lives depended on it and the basic drinkers seem to be pushed out of the way to allow the ego to grow..
Boasting one of the most well known names within the industry, Richard Paterson is pushing the brand and giving us his unique ways of selling this product, but what is it that makes Dalmore so interesting ? Well in an age where sherried whiskies are dominating most whisky lovers shelfs, you already have your answer, sherry !! Dalmore is one of a few distilleries that are basically sherry and fortified wine matured dominant, i say mostly as there are bourbon casks used in the makeup but it is still the sherry / wine dominance we know far better, obviously there are releases out there from the bourbon maturation and very possibly some bourbon casks find their way to those indie bottlers far easier than those mostly matured within those Big Sherry Butts most of us love.. Sourced from the “finest” Bodegas like the world renowned González Byass there is no wonder these whiskies carry an elegance and create a little cloud of mystery..
The 12 Year Old Dalmore
Age.. 12 years
Cask.. American oak Bourbon casks – Oloroso Sherry Butts
Nose.. An initial burst of oranges, just as you begin to peel them you get that burst of aroma as the peel breaks and the first juices spray out, that’s what you get here.. Within seconds this turns to chocolate orange and nuts, roasted chestnuts to be precise, add some freshly brewed coffee, warm cinnamon buns with melting butter and the gentle wafting of a cigar being smoked somewhere in the distance..
Palate.. Those oranges are here to stay, this time its orange marmalade on toast, fresh orange juice and a bowl full of fresh fruits.. Introduce a little chocolate and subtle spices and you have this 12 year old..
Finish.. Wood tannings and oranges
Thoughts.. Firstly, the finish is far too short for what was a rather tasty whisky, its disappointing but reality, the abv needs to be higher but we say that all the bloody time.. Add a little more alcohol and that would probably enhance the finish which would then elevate this dram a lot higher.
The positives though do stand out, the flavours and aromas cant be ignored, the aromas are seductive and draw you in, the flavours are succulent and fresh, the whisky is enjoyable and is one that should be enjoyed with friends, its not a sit on your own dram in a luxury leather arm chair and wind away the hours in a dream, but it will satisfy you..