Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Emperador Inc.
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: www.thedalmore.com
40% ABV: according to the strict Scottish specifications, this is the minimum percentage of alcohol required of a Scotch whisky. On the one hand, there are many distilleries that deliberately choose this alcohol content because they believe it makes it easier to reach a large number of consumers. On the other hand, there are independent bottlers, who choose differently in order to avoid chill filtration, which is considered an unbearable adulteration of the spirit. The majority of non-occasional drinkers consider it a mortifying degree, because it annihilates the aromatic power of the whisky, but if only the final result counts, it must be acknowledged that there are excellent ones even at 40% ABV (Cragganmore 12yo, for example). In short, the debate remains open, and the only indisputable truth is that each bottle is its own story.
Let’s see how it goes with the 12yo from Dalmore, Scotland’s most dandy distillery.
After an initial maturation of 9 years in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks, the whisky is split: one half is moved to ex-Sherry Oloroso casks where it completes its ageing, while the other half remains in the original casks. The two halves are then reunited and bottled at 40% ABV. It is widely available on the market, in a price range slightly above the average entry level.
The colour is amber.
On the nose the first impact is with the sherried side of the distillate: on the aromatic score we can read notes of cherries in alcohol, sultanas and white chocolate. A light spicy note of ginger and a rather strong hint of walnut enrich the profile, along with a clear reminder of liquorice, while a floral impression of cyclamen isn’t entirely in focus. As the drinking progresses, you perceive also vanilla, at first muted and then increasingly intense.
The entry on the palate is nutty, light but persistent. This is almost a background for the brown sugar and citrusy scent of yellow orange, with a spicy hint of nutmeg.
The medium-long finish brings together with enviable balance walnut, sultanas, cherries in alcohol and, last but not least, vanilla. Several hours after drinking it, the empty glass has a very pleasant echo of white chocolate.
The 40% ABV really hits the spot in this elegant but uncompromising whisky, appealing without sounding pandering, and anything but submissive, serving as the perfect introduction to Dalmore’s offerings.