Archive for the ‘Dalmore’ Category

Malts of  Scotland Dalmore 1996 (21 year old) 57.4%

Sherry Hogshead 17063/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Very soft aromas of coffee and treacle with hints of malt, milk chocolate, raisin, sultana and a touch of citrus. There’s plenty of character from the oak with developing burnt wood, astringent herbs, sweet orange, dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla.

The palate is quite tannic and grainy but supple with plenty of balancing treacle. There’s a touch of dark chocolate, herbs and a slight bittering from the wood, but like the nose the treacle and malt balances. Subtly citric with a touch of coffee. Long and remaining coffee’d  with peppery tannins and drying wood notes. Impeccably clean and quite impressive for a sherry monster!


Carn Mor Strictly Limited Dalmore 2000 (14 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 2000 Btl: May 2015/ Tasted: May 2015

An aromatic, barley led nose. A lovely combination of barley in all its facets – hard, sweet and lightly gristy barley with hints of lime, white fruit, honey and creamy/ buttery oak. With time a touch of toasted toffee, earth and light wood spice emerges. Very appealing!

The palate is full and robust with, no surprise, plenty of barley along with hints of thyme, oregano and drier oak tannins. The oak becomes increasingly ‘Bourbony’ and it darkens a shade on the middle as the malt and treacle comes through. Very long, Bourbon oak finish with subtle spices and an almost rye-like herbalness.

Mackillops Choice Dalmore 1989 (25 year old?) 51.2%

Bourbon Cask 7631/ Tasted: May 2014

The nose is over brimming with fragrant barley, luscious herbal honey and perfumed white fruit. Some beautifully fresh citrus emerges along with hints of straw, minerals and fragrant vanilla oak.

A soft, barley led beginning with some fresh American oak. Fleshy apricot follows along with hints of sweet coconut, toffee, lightly oxidised, nutty fruit, malt and herbs. The finish is wonderfully fresh with a lingering sugar dusted toasted coconut note.

Mackillop’s Choice Dalmore 1990 (26 year old) 54.6%

Bourbon Cask 252/ Dist: Jan 1990 Btl: Sept 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Aromas of earthy, straw-like white fruit, barley and hints of coffee, baked fruit and mature American oak. Slightly buttery with time and some subtle Cognac-esque apple and cinnamon appear along with a touch of coriander powder.

The palate is luscious and coffee’d with honey, straw-like barley, Cognac-esque apple and hints of pepper, clove, cinnamon and wonderfully mature oak. The oak and baked fruit character carries through onto the mid palate and the finish is exceptionally long with malt, fruit and spice. A lovely, mouth-filling malt!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Dalmore 1996 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2261/ Dist: Oct 1996 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

A truly beautiful nose of butterkist barley with hints of honey and grass. Wonderfully deep with a light minerality and a touch of citrus. This must be the most elegant Bourbon oaked Dalmore I have come across! 

The palate is full and juicy opening with crunchy honeycomb, barley and some gently sweetened honey. It displays a lovely maturity with hints of straw and flax on the middle along with a touch of white fruit and apricot. Amazingly long, grassy and citrusy with a seriously stony finish. However the balancing honeyed sweetness is ever present. This is divine!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Dalmore 2001 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0724/ Dist May 2001 Btl: Oct 2011/ Tasted: Oct 2011

A soft, slightly earthy nose with a hint of berry fruits in syrup, crisp barley and a touch of honey. Quite pleasant for a Bourbon casked Dalmore. 

The palate opens with some lovely spicy honey followed by the intense alcohol. When that clears it leaves a fudgy/ toffee’d oak character. A bit on the short side but pleasant nevertheless.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Dalmore 2001 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0767/ Dist May 2001 Btl: Feb 2012/ Tasted: Feb 2012

A feinty and oily nose of syrupy sweet tinned fruit. A bit murky and faintly metallic. The palate is oily and industrial. hard, murky, acerbic, grubby, underdeveloped with a murky spice finish.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Dalmore 2002(?) (11 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0685/ Dist: 2002(?) Btl: June 2013/ Tasted: July 2013

Quite a full nose with lightly grassy white fruits. Slightly oily with a touch of manure and vanilla. 

The palate opens with some sweet barley and light honey. Quite full with vanilla and a touch of soft toffee. Very mineral/ stony finish with the oils lingering.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Dalmore 2000 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0974/ Dist: June 2000 Btl: Mar 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

An earthy and slightly oily nose with hints of cereal and rose petal marc. Quite young with a touch of nascent oak. 

Light and simple on the palate, again displaying a lot of oily, youthful cereal and marc-like notes. Some dried straw and malty, baked fruit comes through on the middle. Long and a little austere on the finish with hints of spice and cream.

James MacArthur Old Masters Dalmore 1997 (12 year old) 59.8%

Bourbon Cask 5604/ Dist: 1997 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: July 2009

A very earthy/ dunnage laden nose. Quiet peated for a Dalmore. Surprisingly medicinal and fishy. Good depth but becomes increasingly candied. The alcohol prickles and there is a marc-like note. Not much wood influence here. The palate is soft with lots of garden flowers and rose petal marc. Not as much peat as you would assume from the nose and the intense alcohol is a bit searing. The finish is quiet candied.

Water softens the nose and brings out a lovely perfumed tangerine notes along with some hints of almond, honey and a brief vanilla oak nuance. It sends the earth and peat aromas to the background. On the palate it softens and homogenises. It’s pleasant, but like the Glendullan ultimately unexciting and it becomes very candied.

James McArthur Old Masters Dalmore 1997 (12 year old) 59.8%

Bourbon Cask 5604/ Dist: 1997 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: May 2010

An earthy, phenolicaly peated nose, with hints of higher alcohols, some perfumed orange blossom fruit, grist and heavy oils. The perfume really builds and it’s a frankly odd combination of perfume and peat!

Dry and alcoholic on the palate. Soft and slightly cardboardy to begin with. There’s old wood notes – hickory and liquorice followed by that perfumed peated botanicals character. The alcohol masks the finish.

With water the peat simply vanishes!?! In its place is some slightly industrial (that’s a synonym for dirty and murky!!) orange fruit and the oak is definitely more pervasive adding a slightly soapy, vanilla-butterscotch note. Sweeter on the palate, and more homogenised. Slightly soapy and seems a lot younger with the peat trying to put in a reappearance at the death.

Duncan Taylor Dalmore 1990 (19 year old) 56.7%

Bourbon Cask 7329/ Dist: 1990 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Mar 2009

Deep and oily aromas of mature, earthy fruit, light coffee along with a touch of grist, white liquorice and some botanicals. Over time it develops a marc like quality with those familiar decaying rose petals and farmyards nuances. Very intriguing it finally moves into rum-like territory. A constantly changing and challenging nose!

The palate is surprisingly light in body with the Guyana rum like character evident from the start followed by botanicals, light toffee, white liquorice and some farmyardy/ earthy fruit. The alcohol is quiet intrusive. Water emphasises the light coffee, chicory, spices, herbs and marc, the oiliness recedes somewhat. Interesting and definitely not what I expected.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Dalmore 1996(?) (17 year old) 54.8%

Bourbon/ Code: OLP0080/ Dist: 1996(?) Btl: Feb 2014/ Tasted: Mar 2014

An intensely pungent nose. Very herbal, granity and oily with hints of rose petal marc and an almost Manzanilla sherry green nuttiness, plus hints of manure, earth, edgy, brittle barley and decaying straw. The aromas definitely have a Lowland-esque quality to them.

The palate is earthy and oily and seems a lot younger than 17 years. I would guess that quite a wide cut was taken as it feels heavy with impurities and rose petal marc-like notes. Quite ‘toshan-like with earthy barley, manure and a pungent, alcoholic finish.

A drop of water emphasises the oils and its youthfulness on the nose. On the palate it bring forward the earthy barley.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Dalmore 1997(?) (17 year old) 55.5%

Code: OLD0133/ Dist: 1997(?) Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

Mature and straw-like aromas with hints of lime butter. Hints of camphor and herbal rye-like notes emerge with a slight salinity and late balsamic, malty notes. 

The palate is quite earthy and veering towards the industrial end of the spectrum. Again there is an abundance of straw-like white fruit and gritty tannins. The middle is pretty dry and austere. Good finish though with lingering mature barley and straw notes.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Dalmore 1999 (12 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2031/ Dist Apr 1999 Btl: June 2011/ Tasted: June 2011

A gritty, golden honey coated Satsuma nose accented by citrus rind high notes and a light Tequila-esque spicy rose petal character. Quite intriguing with some light caramel and barky charred wood.

The palate is robust and oily with some full-on, spicy oak to begin. A large dollop of honeyed barley briefly fills the mouth along with a fleeting herbal/ nettly note before its back to the oak riding in on a delightful wave of oily, nutty marzipan. Good length with some burnt, spicy marmalade orange rind in the finish. Possibly a bit heavy on the oak, but good fun nevertheless.


Douglas Laing Premier Barrel Dalmore 1999 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PBR0097/ Dist: Apr 1999 Btl: July 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

A hard, spirity, industrial nose with lots of burnt caramel and a touch of cardboard along with hints of prunes and dried fruit.

The palate is oily and sugary sweet, again the burnt caramel is oppressive and like the nose it’s quite industrial. Slightly tart citrus and bitter oak finish.

Dewar Rattray Dalmore 1999 (11 year old) 59.1%

Bourbon Cask 3080/ Dist: 1999 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Aug 2010

Whoa! Oak and alcohol city!!! Pervasive aromas of caramel-vanilla-butter erupt like a Scandinavian volcano! Yes there are hints of some maderised fruit, balsamic vinegar, coffee and botanicals but the balance is definitely tilted in the oak direction.

As you would expect the palate follows a similar theme. Yes there is a touch of earthy fruit but it’s instantly pummelled to death by the oak and the alcohol. Adding some water doesn’t really make a whole lot of difference, maybe there is a touch more botanicals on the nose, but the palate just becomes overly candied.

Dewar Rattray Dalmore 1999 (14 year old) 53.5%

Bourbon cask 1939/ Dist: 1999 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Jan 2014

The nose opens with some beautiful honey kissed barley, followed by fleshy, sweet apricot, gooseberry, greengauge, ginger, lemon grass and some light oak.
The palate is quite stony and granity with straw-like apricot and sweet honey. Gently spiced with a developing perfumed fruit note. The alcohol masks the finish.
With water the nose darkens as the treacly malt emerges. The barley develops a lovely fragrant sheen.

The palate is softer and a little simpler, but it brings out the Sugary which now cost the fruit. A little botanical spirit note emerges but I have to say this is an exceptional bourbon casked Dalmore.

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.