Benrinnes Distillery Dalmunach Distillery Dràm Mòr Glenturret Highland Park Distillery Highlands Region Independent Bottlers Island of Orkney Loch Lomond Distillery Macduff/Glen Deveron Distillery Scotland Speyside Region Whisky from 100 to 200 euros Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Dràm Mòr Autumn 2022

Review of the Scottish bottler's autumn releases.

Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Dram Mor Group
Official website: drammorgroup.com

Right on time with the start of autumn, here are the six seasonal releases from the Dumbarton bottler, all fullcask strength single casks picked from distilleries in Speyside, the Highlands and Orkney.
Collective tasting for a label that has yet to find an outlet in Italy, but which I hope someone will soon decide to give it the attention it deserves.

Dràm Mòr Benrinnes 2010 12yo

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Strength: 53.7%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon first fill
Average price: € 80.00
Vote: 84/100

Hogshead cask for a distillery that often finds its raison d’être in independent versions, with the single casks bringing out the quality and solidity of the distillate.

Tasting notes

A fruity and fresh nose, where pineapple, banana and mango dive into pear, peach and apricot fruit salad, with garnishes of vanilla berries, honey and a drop of lemon. Very classic and recognisable, with some wood spice notes and a slight balsamic streak along the length. Solid.
Lively and peppery at the mouth, it maintains the fruity vocation with a greater accent on the fresh and balsamic part, with the reinforcement of marzipan, custard and a bitter, almost vegetal tip. No superstructure, very direct and stubborn.
Quite long finish of lemon tart, vegetable notes, nuts and tropical hints.

Sometimes it’s good to find a whisky that just acts as a whisky, allowing the character of the distillate to emerge without a lot of frills, showing a consistency and solidity that is sometimes lacking in so many refined ageings. When treated well and with love, Benrinnes reaffirms its classic and never demodé nature.

Reviews of Benrinnes whisky

Dràm Mòr Secret Orkney 2008 14yo

Origin: Orkney (Scotland)
Strength: 54.1%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Chateaux D’ Yquem Sauternes refill
Average price: € 95.00
Vote: 88/100

The ‘centrepiece’ of this release, about the origin of which there is little doubt, comes with a decidedly unusual ageing, single cask ex-Sauternes wine from a centuries-old winery that is well known in the industry.
Expectations? High.

Tasting notes

The nose brings forward an acrid but gentle peat, with coastal and balsamic velleities with a light roast, which gives ample space to aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme) and fruit such as apple, pear and some citrus touches. Short pastry, custard and cereal biscuits mix with spices (paprika, cinnamon, ginger) in a solid and compact aromatic complex that is very pleasant.
On the palate, the spices lift the tones with a notable burst of pepper on a full, crisp body, where the fruit has an initial flicker (apple, pineapple, peach, plum) that soon dissolves into brighter tones of nuts and smoky, vegetal peat, more intense than on the nose, with touches of liquorice root, chocolate, coffee and more herbs. Savoury in length.
Long finish characterised by the ash of an extinguished fireplace, nuts, spices and saline touches.

The toasted component is well integrated with the other aromas and gives life to a well-balanced dram in which every evocation finds its place: peat, ocean, spices, fruit and vegetables combine to create a whole that works and holds up over the distance, both on the nose and palate, with rich facets that can please (almost) everyone.

Reviews of Highland Park whisky

Dràm Mòr Dalmunach 2016 6yo

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Strength: 58.2%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon first fill
Average price: € 70.00
Vote: 85/100

Not exactly a leading distillery, of very recent foundation, which has yet to make a name for itself in the ever-widening panorama of Scotch whiskies, especially since it was set up mainly to supply material for Pernod Ricard’s blends. Second release for the bottler and third bottle to end up on the blog, so far without infamy or praise.

Tasting notes

A note of almond paste emerges firmly on the nose, wrapped in an inordinate amount of butter that raises your cholesterol just to smell it. A fat, opulent sweetness in which pear, peach and nuts (pistachio and, of course, almond) are plunged, with vanilla cream in spoonfuls. Notes of cereal on the bottom. Warm and cuddly.
On the palate, the cereals emerge with more conviction, in a partially successful attempt to dampen the pastry influence of the flavours which, with the help of a convincing spicy thrust (pepper, ginger), declines into butter brioche, peach melba, hazelnuts and a slight bitter streak of liquorice and aniseed. Cereal and vegetable notes peep through the length.
The finish is quite long and dry, hovering between vegetable and buttery, with white fruit and spices punctuating the palate.

Young but with a softness and body that would make greater ages envious, it reveals a clear and complacent personality that hints at a potentially explosive future once the sins of youth are purged.

Reviews of Dalmunach whisky

Dràm Mòr Macduff 2012 9yo

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Strength: 58%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry refill
Average price: € 85.00
Vote: 82/100

Glen Deveron when the bottling comes straight from the distillery, another of those whiskies that in independent single casks manages to shine in its own light. Second-fill cask of sherry, so not particularly loaded: will it have been able to leave room for the distillate?

Tastig notes

On the nose, the sherry expresses in its acidic and sour component, leaning more towards citrus fruits such as grapefruit and lemon than towards red fruits, although these are evident. A somewhat dirty sherry, at times earthy, that in the glass gradually opens up to new aromas, never aggressive or preponderant, with a tendency towards the softness acquired with honey, toffee and baked apple that intersect with leather, wild strawberry, almond and a slight sulphurous note. Rich and layered.
Much more evident on the palate, immediately vinous and full of red fruits with a generous spicy profusion of pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Little room for subtlety, very direct and visibly young, including the alcoholic exuberance absent on the nose, with bitter impressions intruding layers of malt and nuts, with a mineral note that remains as a signature of the drink.
The finish is quite long and very dry, with marked vegetal and mineral traits on red fruit, apple and nuts.

As is (all too) often the case, a very promising nose doesn’t find as much satisfaction on the palate, which is more conventional and somewhat flat, albeit with discrete drinkability. A few more years would perhaps have benefited the dram’s complexity.

Reviews of Macduff whisky

Dràm Mòr Ruadh Maor 2012 10yo

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Strength: 58.7%ABV
Ageing cask: Finished in ex-Portuguese Red Wine refill
Average price: € 90.00
Vote: 85/100

We remain in the Highlands with another of those distilleries that ‘hides’ behind a nom de plume that everyone, however, is familiar with. A distillery of which I have tried very little, including their own peated edition, so the approach is almost without expectation and open to any surprise. And with an ex-wine cask, for ageing of unknown length, there could be many surprises…

Tasting notes

The smoke rising from the glass shows a very vegetal spirit, being more on the side of burnt hay and grass than of wood, with citric and sour notes intruding apricot, peach and pear juice. It tends to soften over time, bringing out honey, custard, a touch of yeast and malt. Pleasant but not Gascon.
Proudly spicy attack on the palate, lots of pepper and ginger heralded by an initial alcoholic bite, soon diluted among the flavours that take up the fruit on the nose along with a more ashy smoke, with a structure that has body and creaminess. The citric notes are always present, accompanying the sweeter, maltier ones along with impressions of nuts and a hint of aniseed.
The finish is quite long and spicy, of pepper, nuts, ash, pear.

I cannot speak of ‘surprises’ but I did find a creamy and compact whisky, with a well-defined personality although not particularly complex. A very satisfying dram.

Reviews of Glenturret whisky

Dràm Mòr Inchmurrin 2011 11yo

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Strength: 58%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon refill
Average price: € 80.00
Vote: 81/100

An unpeated version of another ‘obscure’ distillery in the Highlands, with a generally lighter and fruitier profile, it presents itself with a very classic ageing that can often be very satisfying.

Tasting notes

As planned, the opening on the nose is fresh and fruity, where peach, coconut, pineapple, white melon and pear go hand in hand with cereal biscuits, cinnamon and sawdust, with a slight hint of resin in the background. Young and amiable.
Entrance with very definite pepper and ginger accompanying a lemon tart alternating with cooked apple and pear with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Rather exuberant and less rich than on the nose, it leaves some caramel and vanilla openings with a touch of liquorice and malt to complete the picture.
Quite long finish in which pepper and ginger still dominate over brushstrokes of vanilla, peach, freshly cut wood and malt.

A little unbalanced on the palate, which is more assertive than it should be at the expense of depth with a predominance of spices that borders on intrusiveness. The end result is also enjoyable, but lacks coherence between the impressions of nose and palate.

Reviews of Loch Lomond whisky

Reviews of Dràm Mòr whisky

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