The Dalmore has always been in the peripheral vision when a Glenfiddich review comes up, but it’s here for a slightly odd reason. Namely the recent movie release of Kingsman 2, of which the first film had a mention of a special version of the Dalmore Whisky – which is how we end up here.
(Happy Christmas btw folks!)
What we get is the ‘basic’ version here, and while there are certainly some good aspects – it is not without faults and misgivings. It, therefore, is less a ‘Dalmore is where it’s at’ and more a ‘Requires more research’ kind of whiskey. Anyway, they sadly say quite a lot themselves.
What they Say: “Bottle:
Box: Matured in American White Oak and Oloroso Sherry Wood
The Dalmore’s heritage dates back to 1263, when an ancestor of the Clan Mackenzie, owners of The Dalmore distillery for over a century, saved King Alexander III from the fury of a charging stag. In recognition of this noble act, the King granted the Clan Mackenzie the right to use a 12-point stag, representing a ‘Royal’, in their coat of arms. This striking icon has since adorned each bottle of The Delmore, Symbolising the Dalmore distillery’s regal legacy.
THE ART OR THE DALMORE
The Dalmore is crafted using 150-year-old artisan process passed down through the generations. Eight hand beaten copper stills of variable shape and size deliver a full flavoured and complex new spirit, which is then enriched over the years in the finest American white oak ex-bourbon casks and hand selected Oloroso sherry butts. Master Distiller Richard Paterson then makes his final selection, harmonising the spirit of the chosen casks in bespoke sherry butts until he decides that the precious contents are ready for bottling.
Matured for an initial nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being carefully divided. One half continues its maturation in bourbon barrels, the other half is transferred to 30-year-old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. Complex, yet balanced, The Dalmore 12-year-old is the epitome of the Dalmore house style.
Aroma: Citrus, chocolate and aromatic spices.
Palate: Concentrated citrus, oloroso sherry and hints of vanilla pod.
Finish: Roasted coffee and chocolate.
As a Dalmore Custodian, you will gain access to exclusive bottlings, new expressions and invitations to members’ only events. You can become one of this select group by visiting thedalmore.com.”
Taste: 3.0 – At first glance, it’s not great. Try it again and it’s even worse. This alone makes this not a neat scotch.
Aftertaste: 6.5 – There’s a latent smoky flavour alongside the more overt smoky flavour. Overall once you get past that initial awfulness this mellows in your throat nicely (phrasing)
Burn/Smooth: 5.0 – While not harsh that initial brunt ruins any chance of calling this ‘smooth’
Aroma: 5.5 – We’ll give them some aromatics and even a bit of citrus, but no chocolate, and more importantly no seal of approval. This smells fines, but nowhere near great.
Honesty: 6.0 – Holy hell the box had a novel on it. I honestly wish I’d picked up a bottle and not a box. Anytime there are paragraphs with headers on your box maybe reconsider all of your life choices. The embossed stag though and the Dalmore name are very good though. And despite the lengthy history lesson they don’t outright lie, but the wank is high.
W/ Rocks: 7.5 – Whoa. The scotch opens like a beautiful flower here. It somehow keeps those smoky elements and almost adds like a honey component. It’s not a rusty nail, but it’s a dramatically different scotch here.
Value: 3.5 – Hmmm. This is a toughie. One the one hand this is a fairly decent single malt, and one ice it is phantasmal. That being said for this price there are totally a half dozen other single malts you should choose.
Google Shop Average: $65
Metric Score: 37/70 |+| Metric Average: 5.29 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.0
Final Thoughts: This isn’t something that would ever be stocked in the Lounge, nor should it be stocked in your domicile. That being said – go to a good restaurant. When they ask you for your choice – it’s would not be uncouth to ask for the Dalmore – on the rocks. That is singularly the only praise we can truly give.