Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon first fill and ex-Sherry Oloroso second fill
Added coolouring: No
Owner: Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited
Average price: € 70.00
Official website: duncantaylor.com
Bottler Duncan Taylor’s Octave series explores the impact of very small casks (called Octave, of around 50 litres) on the ageing of whiskies, presenting a quite inexpensive line of fairly young whiskies alongside a more prestigious one (Octave Premium Range) that follows the same principle but on more important initial ageing.
Here I find myself with a young Dalmunach, a distillery that replaced the beloved Imperial in recent times, which spent over three years in a first-fill ex-Bourbon cask and then finished in a second-fill octave ex-Sherry Oloroso for three months, producing an obviously reduced number of bottles (102) in 2020.
There is another version, aged for a year longer, released in 2021 at 53.3%ABV.
Lots of grapes and cereals on the nose, the youthfulness of the malt and the concentrated influence of the Sherry (though not intense) make themselves felt at first approach, expanding into raspberries, wild strawberries, plums, pear, vanilla, lavender oil, drop of lime. The alcohol content is a slight tingling of the nostrils, just to liven up a freshness that is almost like a new make.
In the mouth it raises its voice with a burning alcoholic note, to be taken with attention, dragging a spicy wave (pepper, ginger) of cooked apple, pears, berries, licorice root, bergamot, salted caramel, wood. Good oiliness, it’s rather direct and sharp, presenting in length tobacco and an illusion of smoke.
The finish is quite long, savoury, of ginger, pears, dried fruit, liquorice root, wood, puff of smoke.
A young whisky with all the impetuousness (and limitations) of its age, to which the finishing in a small but not too active cask has given a spark of personality. Certainly not unforgettable, but it’s a pleasure to drink.
Reviews of Dalmunach whisky in the blog:
Dràm Mòr Dalmunach 2016 5yo
Reviews of Duncan Taylor whisky in the blog:
Macallan 1989 Duncan Taylor