Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Port
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Emperador Inc.
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: www.thedalmore.com
Dalmore, founded in 1839 and run for several years now by one of the most famous and controversial master blenders in the Scottish industry, Richard Paterson, we have already blogged about with reviews of the 15yo and an 18yo admirably bottled by Cadenhead’s. We therefore refer you to those articles for general information on the distillery and the style of their whiskies, and focus on today’s dram.
This is a Dalmore Port Wood Reserve for which ex-Port Tawny casks were used from the renowned W&J Grahams winery in Vila Nova de Gaia, in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. Along with Ruby, Tawny is one of the best-known red ports. Being barrel-aged for two to forty years, unlike Ruby which is mainly bottle-aged, it tends to acquire oxidative, woody, nutty aromas.
Port Wood Reserve is the first whisky for which Dalmore has used W&J Grahams casks. The result was such that Paterson chose them for three other prestigious new bottlings: a Dalmore 15yo Vintage 2001, an 18yo Vintage 1998 and a 20yo Vintage 1996.
This Dalmore Port Wood Reserve began its maturation in classic ex-Bourbon barrels. After an unspecified period of time, the whisky was split: one half continued to age in these barrels, while the other half was transferred to former Tawny Port pipes for a period of twelve to eighteen months. The two halves were then combined and bottled at 46.5% ABV.
The colour is a beautiful, bright amber.
The first impression on the nose is of an intense, almost marsalata wine note, on which are grafted with elegant gradualness a hint of baked apple, a scent of caramel, an aroma of dried red fruit and a naughty pepper that tingles the nostrils. As we continue our olfactory examination, we also distinctly perceive a hint of orange, a mineral, iron accent and a surprising acrid note of cigarette smoke that sits right at the back of the throat. It’s just a pity that as the minutes pass, all this richness fades a little.
In the mouth, the citrus scent gains depth, while pepper tickles the palate and a soft hazelnut aroma finds its perfect companion in a mouth-watering fragrance of homemade panettone.
The finish is really long, still of panettone.
A whisky with an air of nobility, in keeping with Dalmore’s tradition, but not complacent, but cheerful and vital, almost cheeky, especially on the nose. The use of ex-port casks may be risky, but when it is well modulated, as in this case, the drinker is sure to enjoy it.
Toms Whisky Reviews