Dalmore Distillery Bottlings Tasting Notes

Posted: August 19, 2011 in Dalmore, Scotch Whisky A-G
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The Dalmore 12 year old 40%

Aged for 6 years in American white oak, followed by 6 years in Oloroso Sherry butts/ Tasted: June 2008

A nicely balanced nose between the two casks. Rich and spicy with apricot, dried fruit, and raisins with late toffee and mature honey notes. Very spicy on the palate, smooth and deliciously fruity. Mouthfilling and smooth with the Oloroso fruit evident. Slightly tropical with apricot and dried fruit. It seems older than 12 years and is balanced by a lively citrus edge.

The Dalmore 12 year old 40%

9 years ageing in ex-Bourbon. Half then finished for 3 years in ex-Mathuselm Oloroso Butts

Re-Tasted: Feb 2018

Aromas of edgy barley and soft vanilla. The sherried dried fruit (fig, raisin and sultana) is subtler than I remember, but then it doesn’t spend half as long in the sherry as it used to, so that’s not a surprise. Lightly peppery and earthy. Still very polished though.

The palate opens with some sweet-ish barley, along with toffee, marzipan and hints of dried fruit and subtle herbal notes. The balance of both American oak and sherry is rather good, and I’ll still say that the 12 year old is my favourite expression. Long, marzipan and barley finish with a subtle treacle and raisin after-taste.

The Dalmore 15 year old 40%

Aged in 100% sherry casks (matusalem, apostoles and amoroso from Gonzalez Byass)/ Tasted: June 2008

Quiet a perfumed nose with violet notes. Surprisingly delicate for a spirit aged entirely in sweet sherry butts. Quiet pleasant with honey, apricots in syrup, cinnamon and ginger notes. On the palate it is mature and delicate like the nose again nicely balanced by its citrus edge, yet somehow it’s less challenging than the 12 year old. Finishes quiet dry with noticeable wood tannins.

The Dalmore Gran Reserva 40%

40% American oak, 60% Oloroso Sherry/ Malts aged 10-15yrs/ Tasted: Apr 2009

A lot more reserved than the 12year old. It seems almost dumb in comparison. There’s some slightly perfumed orange conserve, honey, sherry wood and spices with a late vanilla note. Nothing to get excited about. The palate is soft and juicy, quiet mellow and homogenous with obvious sherry fruit and hints of dried fruitcake, spices and orange rind. Reasonable length but it all just expires is intimately quiet unexciting.

The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III 40%

Aged in a combination of Oloroso,Madeira, American oak, Masala and Cabernet Sauvignon casks/ Tasted: Apr 2009

Deep and again reserved. You really have to work at this nose. Initially wuiet winey with the Cabernet and Masala holding sway, followed by rich, moist fruitcake soaked in sherry, wonderfully mature honey and balanced by it’s vanilla oak. Quiet understated. Over time deep Seville orange aromas emerge as do plums, red berries, ginger, aromatic ginger root all coated by the delightful, dry, powdery spices.

The palate is oily and leads with the sherry wood spices, followed by moist fruitcake, malt and mellow honey. The alcohol keeps it lively but only the berry and vanilla flavours linger with a plumy finish.

I have to say that I really liked the nose when it finally got going but the palate was nowhere near as complex and exciting.

The Dalmore 1974 45%

Aged in Gonzales Byass Mathusalem Sherry butts/ Tasted: Apr 2009

Although it’s immense and sherried, it’s incredibly polished and complex. There’s a Jamaican rum like quality to the aromas (strangely!) with lashings of clove punched orange fruit and spices. Rich and fruity, veritably dripping in mature honey, cinnamon, spiced dates, walnuts, stewed apples, figs and dark chocolate. It keeps unfolding it’s secrets in unhurried brilliance. A fleeting briny note passes, as do hints of mint leaf and bracken. Stunning!

Viscous, thick and substantial. Huge globs of silky sherry and again that Jamaican rum note. Like the nose it supremely complex with cinnamon dusted Seville orange, bitter dark chocolate and wood tannins, opening into a seductive cognac-esque dried fruit and walnut middle. This is stunning. Piquant, yet integrated alcohol keeps it lively and the finish is………….. monumental with that leafy/ bracken note remaining. Mouth coating and decadent, it makes an ideal companion for moist xmas pudding and a big fat Cuban (cigar that is) Bolivar!

The Dalmore 21 year old 42%

Tasted: Oct 2015

Nose: Very subtle aromas of moist raisinated and plumy fruitcake. Initially quite subdued before the luscious sherry notes kick in. The aromas develop well with late hints of herbs and green nuts.

Palate: As subdued as the nose. Too subtle? Relatively straightforward with juicy, homogenous sherry character and building, lightly bitter, chocolaty tannins on the middle.

Finish: Short, sharp and quite citric. Pleasantly mouth-watering though with liquorice and dark chocolate after-taste.

Conclusion: It’s all about the sherry cask. No blemishes, but simple and ultimately for me, unexciting.

The Dalmore 25 year old 42%

Matured in American white oak before a second maturation in a combination of Palomino Fino sherry butts and first fill bourbon casks. These are then married together in bourbon barrels before a finishing period in Tawny Port pipes.

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: A big, chunky and coffee’d, Armagnac-esque rancio of prunes, dates, raisin and figs with a touch of marzipan, walnuts, citrus, treacle and wood tannins.

Palate: Softer and more treacly than the nose with dried apricot, prune, walnuts and subtler coffee notes. Quite oaky and tannic on the middle but the treacle balances.

Finish: Long with a marzipan and toasted oak finish. Again the treacle and dried fruit balance.

Conclusion: A little oaky, but impressive, nevertheless.

The Dalmore 30 year old 45%

Tasted: Apr 2016

Nose: Mature, deep, laid back succulent sherry with orange conserve, orange blossom honey, malt, coffee and gorgeously sweet spice. Hints of dark roasted coffee bean and herbal spice emerge.

Palate: Elegant and luscious with sweet coffee, milk chocolate, malt and soft sherry notes. It bites a little on the middle but the depth of Armagnac-esque dried fruit and dark honey balances.

Finish: Long and spicy with lingering dark chocolaty wood notes, green nuts, malt and treacle.

Conclusion: A perfectly laid back whisky, for those laid back moments!

The Dalmore 40 year old 40%

Filled into cask on 13th February 1965/ Tasted: Apr 2009

Oh my god! This takes the 1974 and turns it up to 11! The depth is unbelievable, I’m almost speechless, well almost……… it wouldn’t make much of a tasting note if I was!!

Right where was I? It’s like hitting a Seville marmalade wall head on. There are buckets of aged honey to die for, brittle toffee, fruitcake, walnuts, bitter toffee and oodles of earthy sherry spice. Over time the orange fruit develops a wonderful perfumed crystallised character. Maybe it’s not as complex (on the nose) as the 1974 but by god the depth sure makes up for it.

The palate is so, so, mellow, it glides and seeps into every corner of the mouth. Soft and luxurious, and aged to perfection! Delicious mature honey and sherry wood combine with robust spices, dried cognac-esque fruit and hints of bitter chocolate. Magnificent doesn’t come close to describing this experience. Mouthfilling and creamy, the alcohol gently nips at the edges of the tongue. As it slowly winds its way down there’s a faint waft of smoke and tropical banana along with a hint of violets and mint. The finish is almost timeless with the dried fruits holding out until the bitter end. One word……… Monumental!

The Tweed Dram 40%

Tasted: June 2011

Quite a youthful and high toned nose with some slightly grassy fruit. It’s a bit on the confected side with some distinct marc-like notes. With time some hints of light orange, walnut emerges. I would guess this vatting is predominantly ex-bourbon casked as there is only a slight sherry influence.

The palate is pretty light and youthful, overloaded with peppery marc and thus a bit bereft of depth. Like the nose there is more bourbon than sherry character and said oak bitters and shortens.

The Spey Dram 40%

Tasted: June 2011

A bigger, nuttier and juicier nose with a hint of earth and peat. There are more sherry cask aromas, which adds a herbal-leafiness and with time an autumnal burnt wood note appears.

Again the palate displays a fair amount of youthful marc notes with some nutty/ leafy sherry. A bit simple which becomes quite toffee sweet with a praline middle. Again a bit on the short side.

The Tay Dram 40%

Tasted: June 2011

Quite a nutty and malty nose – almonds and walnuts. There appears to be a greater degree of maturity, the fruits have a distinct stewed character. There is still a touch of high toned cereal but it’s better integrated along with the burnt wood and coffee notes.

The palate is like the nose. Bold and weighty. The richness of chocolate-malt notes hold the youthful cereal notes in check. Better balance and a good intensity and bite from the alcohol. Quite a mouth watering, spicy finale and a juicy bourbon oak led finish.

The Dee Dram 40%

Tasted: June 2011

The nose is nutty and malty, along the lines of theTay/ Spey Dram’s. Again there is some youthful cerealy marc and a touch of light orange fruit.

Quite sweet with again a passing similarity to the Spey Dram. Nutty with a suggestion of salt on the middle along with the expected youthful cereal notes. Again a tad short as the oak grips, but it does deliver some pleasant spices.


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