The Dalmore generally produces a rich, sherried style with a heavy spirit with older whiskies being some of the most collectible and expensive whiskies on the market, very similar to the Macallan – which, interestingly enough, also produces a heavier and sherried style of spirit. Some legendary bottlings have been released by the distillery, including a 64 year old Dalmore which had some whiskies in it which were over 140 years old.
The distillery was founded in 1839 from an owner who had gained a fortune through the opium trade, but was thereafter bought by the Mackenzie family, whose ancestor in 1263 had saved King of Scots Alexander III from being killed by a stag. The stag, now, marks each bottle of the Dalmore.
This 15 year old whisky is a bit of a rarity because it is matured entirely in Matudalem, Apostoles, and Amaroso Sherry casks – a 100% sherry matured whisky.
Nose: Mixed berry jam, almonds, currants, raisins, and some sherry-spiciness. The grain seems quite round in this one – evidently there in body but it doesn’t come out specifically. Oak is there – but subdued, like the aroma of oak that has been sitting outside for some time rather than the jumping aroma of freshly charred or sanded oak. Quite jammy, with more malt coming out with time. Complex, and interesting. 27.5/30 (92%)
Taste: Quite sharp initially, with some malt coming through in the middle and taking you right to the end where the sherry takes hold with a bit of nuttiness. A bit too sharp at the beginning, with the spices a bit too eager to jump out early I think. Well rounded, rich, and spicy. 25.5/30 (85%)
Finish: Raisins, raspberry jam, sherry, malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of oak. A touch sulphury – but I don’t mind it. 17.5/20 (88%)
Conclusion: If you like sherried whiskies, you’ll like this one. Quite complex, but it seems to tell a bit of a jumbled story to me – certainly over the one sample I’ve reviewed. Despite this, it’s one I think that could entertain me for some hours – and most whiskies would not. 17.5/20 (88%)