Benrinnes Distillery Blair Athol Distillery Dràm Mòr Glen Garioch Distillery Highlands Region Independent Bottlers Mannochmore Distillery Scotland Spey Distillery Speyside Region Tullibardine Distillery Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Dràm Mòr Spring 2023

Review of the Scottish bottler's spring releases.

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

Here we are at the spring appointment with the Dumbarton bottler, which features six whiskies (and two rums), as always from single casks and at cask strength.
A journey through the Highlands and Speyside revisiting partly distilleries that have already passed through Macdonald’s chosen casks, as always with rather young ageing.

Dràm Mòr Mannochmore 2010 13yo

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Strength: 54.8%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon refill
Average price: € 80.00 
Vote: 85/100

First bottling for Dràm Mòr from this neglected Speyside distillery, which in the two expressions I have tried so far has never particularly impressed me, but you can always change your mind.

Tasting notes

On the nose, the tones are subdued but firm, a light layer of fruit (peach, pear, pineapple), vanilla, honey, almonds and seed oil. At times, notes of bread and cereal biscuits emerge. Propolis. An intriguing combination of youth and softness.
In the mouth it shows some spicy edges and a slight alcoholic exuberance, but the soul remains the tame one on the nose, devoted to a gentle sweetness of fruit, here more tropical with some incursions of lemon and aniseed. Along the length it becomes sweeter with ripe peach, vanilla, candyfloss and a slight mineral vein.
The finish is quite long and fruity with almonds, honey, nuts and sugar paste.

An elegant, sober whisky with a lovable, unshouted sweetness that slowly wins you over and without realising it you would drink gallons of it. In short, well made.

Reviews of Mannochmore whisky

Dràm Mòr Benrinnes 2013 10yo

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Strength: 57.5%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon refill
Average price: € 80.00 
Vote: 83/100

278 bottles for the second Benrinnes in their portfolio, the first was still a three-year-old ex-bourbon, which was not bad at all.

Tasting notes

The nose begins with tropical fruit, pineapple and grapefruit intertwined with dried apricots, honey, freshly cut wood and a touch of nutmeg. Over time, it softens slightly with custard and hazelnuts. Simple, fresh, young.
The palate has a nice oiliness, it starts with a spicy mouthfeel (pepper, nutmeg) that anticipates fruit (apple, pear, pineapple, grapefruit, white melon), vanilla, pine nuts, honey and more wood, with a notable contribution of tannins. Green tea and a slight balsamic inclination.
Medium-long finish of fruit, spices, wood and vegetable inflections.

A straightforward dram without a lot of frills, the spirit of Benrinnes stark and raw with an excellent retention of gravity. What one calls a solid whisky.

Reviews of Benrinnes whisky

Dràm Blair Athol 2011 11yo

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Strength: 56%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon
Average price: € 100.00 
Vote: 84/100

This is the second Blair Athol chosen by Dràm Mòr after last year’s, and in fact we are one year older with 305 bottles produced.

Tasting notes

Fresh and delicate nose, with a mineral note intruding fruit (apple, pear, amoli), vanilla, honey, baked chestnut, puff pastry. It gradually becomes softer and sweeter, baked apple appears with hints of cinnamon evoking a strudel with custard on the side.
Warm and spicy mouthfeel, with cinnamon and a hint of black pepper on cooked and marmellated fruit, oily and full body carrying nuts (walnuts, almonds), a touch of liquorice, honeyed cereal bar, white chocolate and a drop of yoghurt. Aniseed in length.
Medium length finish of nuts, apples, cinnamon, honey and a hint of rhubarb.

A nice balance of sweetness and bitter touches, perhaps more appealing on the nose than it is on the palate but with enough pleasantness to be enjoyed on a summer evening.

Reviews of Blair Athol whisky

Dràm Mòr Tullibardine 2015 8yo

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Strength: 53.7%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry Oloroso first fill
Average price: € 70.00 
Vote: 83/100

Here is a distillery that although it has never driven me crazy, I still find quite solid and consistent, with good average quality in its bottlings.
Of the two single casks of Dràm Mòr I have tried, a year younger than this one, I had really enjoyed the one in ex sherry, how will it be this time?

Tasting notes

Powerful sherry bang on the nose, very intense and decidedly overwhelming, with all the rough decadence of oloroso enclosed in figs and prunes, dates, sour cherries, ripe persimmons, nutmeg in profusion and leather. From this thick blanket manage to escape touches of candied orange peel with chocolate and a slight inflection of sesame bars and honey, with time it becomes less dark thanks to an almost balsamic vein.
The palate has such a spicy mouthfeel that at times it is reminiscent of a rye: treacle, nutmeg, pepper and streaks of acetone pave the way for nuts (macadamia, peanuts), chocolate, dates and candied orange. Leather envelops the flavours, which are enriched with toasted wood and sultanas, remaining rather pungent and warm throughout the drink.
The finish is quite long and spicy, with wood, toasted nuts, prunes and a slight vegetal vein.

A curious whisky, it opens like a sherry bomb and then reveals alternative identities, all the while maintaining very high tones and little inclination to subtlety. Amusing in its chameleonic bumptiousness.

Reviews of Tullibardine whisky

Dràm Mòr Glen Garioch 2013 10yo

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Strength: 57.1%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Islay
Average price: € 90.00 
Vote: 87/100

Of Glen Garioch I have guiltily tried very few expressions, including one from Dràm Mòr, all of which were very convincing, hence the expectations for this Islay cask-aged single cask (another way of saying ex peat whisky), from the colour, one would say ex bourbon anyway.

Tasting notes

Lots of peach and apricot on the nose, but with an intense mineral and sulphurous streak that dampens the sweetness. However, it remains very fruity and pulpy, with melon, red pear and kiwi fruit with a splash of lemon, a drizzle of honey and a slight cadence of wood. In the background, a faint thread of smoke, as of burnt brushwood.
Spicy hit at the entrance to the palate (ginger, white pepper, nutmeg) with smoke that this time enters as a protagonist, always with a vegetal and earthy inflection, framing the white fruit combined with nuts (almonds, cashews), white chocolate, cereal bar and honey. In length, toasted wood.
Long finish where the sulphurous and mineral soul returns with clarity, intruding nuts, peach, wood and, obviously, Caribbean cigar smoke.

Great drinkability and body for a whisky that reaffirms the high quality of the distillate, to which the peat cask lends depth and three-dimensionality, finding an excellent balance with the contents.

Reviews of Glen Garioch whisky

Dràm Mòr Speyside 2014 8yo

Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Strength: 51.7%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Moscatel finish
Average price: € 70.00 
Vote: 83/100

This is the first independent bottling I have tried from Speyside Distillery, the second made by Dràm Mòr after the one released two years ago: a young whisky, with a not-so-light cask finishing. Let’s see.

Tasting notes

On the nose, the first impact is that of a fondant and hazelnut bar, with an undertone of coffee powder. Only later do sweeter, fruitier notes of apple, peach, candied pineapple, cereal, apricot jam and graphite emerge. In the background, slight wood toasting. Very intriguing.
The palate begins with blackcurrants, sultanas and spices (pepper, ginger, cinnamon), and is then enriched by vegetal impressions where vinous inflections in which nuts and cereals wallow. Lemon zest, a drop of honey and chocolate and coffee return, albeit mutedly, while the vegetal and floral part (a puff of violet) grows in length.
Medium-long finish of red fruits, wood, spices, green tea, flowers.

A whisky that starts well but gets a little lost along the way, unravelling the balance it promised (and initially maintained) between nose and palate. Perhaps still too young, but promising.

Reviews of Glen Garioch whisky

Reviews of Dràm Mòr whisky

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