Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: www.malts.com
I return to the limited (but not too limited) series dedicated by Diageo to Game of Thrones with one of the so-called “minor” bottles, from a distillery that is part of the Classic Malt group.
Situated in the territory that can be defined indifferently as Highlands or Speyside (and obviously the former has been chosen), Dalwhinnie was founded in 1898 at 353 metres above sea level, making it the highest distillery in Scotland, and takes its name from the Gaelic Dail Chuinnidh, or meeting point.
Founded by John Grant, George Sellar and Alexander Mackenzie under the name of Strathspey, it had a very short life under their management, being sold the same year to A. P. Blyth who bought it. P. Blyth who bought it on behalf of his son, giving it its final name.
After a brief period in American hands, it ended up in those of the future Diageo as early as 1926, experiencing brief periods of closure during the Second World War and with a stable but modest production.
In 1989 it joined the six Classic Malts with its own 15 year old (soon to be featured on these pages), which was accompanied by the other two bottlings in its portfolio: Winter’s Gold and the annual Distillers Edition.
As always, here’s a summary of all the editions:
– Cardhu Gold Reserve (dedicated to the House Targaryen);
– Clynelish Reserve (dedicated to the House Tyrell);
– Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost (dedicated to the House Stark);
– Lagavulin 9yo (dedicated to the House Lannister);
– Mortlach 15yo (dedicated to the Six Kingdoms);
– Oban Bay Reserve (dedicated to the Night’s Watch);
– Royal Lachnagar 12yo (dedicated to the House Baratheon);
– Singleton of Glendullan Reserve (dedicated to the House Tully);
– Talisker Select Reserve (dedicated to the House Greyjoy).
Nominally not part of the series, but nevertheless inspired by GoT, are the following:
– Johnnie Walker White Walker (dedicated to the White Walkers);
– Johnnie Walker Song of Fire and Johnnie Walker Song of Ice.
The nose is herbaceous, with a strong presence of cereals that betray its youth. Wood and spices accompany the fruity aromas, with peach, apple, navel orange, mandarin. Caramel, honey, hint of cinnamon. Clean and fresh, with just a touch of alcoholic intrusiveness.
More assertive on the palate but still ethereal, with a greater spicy thrust and a touch of pepper, accentuating the sweeter tones of ripe yellow fruit, going as far as a reminiscence of a cheap chewing gum. Honey, lots of cereal, dryness of the wood, a hint of metal in the background. Along the length the alcohol content tends to prevail, dulling the flavors a bit.
Short finish of wood, cereal, metal and alcohol.
It starts off well, let’s say, only to crash almost immediately on the guardrails of alcohol and wood. Too young, too much, pandering in a boorish way, made for an occasional distracted drink, with the personality of a supermarket whisky.
The poor Starks deserved better…
One More Dram