Dalmore: 1265 King Alexander III (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: No age statement: 40% ABV)

Visual: A thick deep bronzed ruby.

Viscosity: A mix of thick trails, which move quickly for the most part.

Nose: Eccles cake. Marzipan. Almonds and blue berries.  That marmalade touch. Light pencil shavings. Water makes for more orange shreds, black toffee and slight elderberry.

Body: Fruitcake mixed with red cherries and brandy cream. Dry oak. Vanilla and raisins.  Very smooth indeed. Water brings out spicy notes. Marmalade. Custard creams. Marzipan then treacle near the end. Milky chocolate and light fresh touch of lime.

Finish: Milk chocolate. Brandy cream, Marmalade. Plums. With water you get gentle mulling spices and raisins. Almonds. Oddly a touch of cucumber at times. Dry oak.

Conclusion: Call me a heretic if you must for saying this, but I prefer this over the Dalmore 40 Year Old.  Now that may seem extreme, but this whisky has so much going on. Its smooth as silk texture wise, but unlike the antediluvian expression its still manages to keep a good force to the flavour as well.

From first glance it impresses, with this deep colour that excites the eye.  When you get to the whisky itself it doesn’t disappoint on the Dalmore stand bys, you get the chocolate smoothness and marmalade lacings that are always such a joy.

However the many and varied finishes bring forth spice, raisins, then the smoothness of marzipan and almonds. These complex layers then fade out to the finish where the defiant remaining flavours float, clinging to their life and breathing flavour for a significant time after. The final elements to lave are the marzipan dry sweetness, an unusual yet welcome grace.

I had tried a few measures before doing this review, revisiting it over  a couple of days, yet despite that I still feel like I am just scraping the surface of what this whisky has to offer. Whilst the core notes remain the same each time, there always seems to be an improvised melody of flavour that surrounds them. From fruitiness to light oak, sweet dessert flavours or spice, it roams the full range.  Very much a whisky that deserves a full bottle rather than a measure.

To try and bring some feel of balance I will mention its minor flaws.  Near the end of the main body the almond flavour can become dominant, hiding the more subtle flavours. Also its heavy flavour can mean that after a measure of two you again lose some of the subtleties. Then again, for such a whisky you really should be savouring it rather than finishing a bottle in an evening.  Very minor points however. Also water weakens it just slightly I would say, the thickness and weight without makes for a more satisfying drink. Though if you have the chance to have more than one measure it does not hurt to see what difference it does make.

Richly complex, smooth and thick. Multi faceted and stylish. An amazing whisky.

Background: First drunk over a year ago at the London whisky show. Since then I have been trying to get my hands on a bottle.  It finally fell into my hands as a kind Christmas gift from my parents for which I thank them greatly.  I was trying to keep it sealed a tad longer, but G-LO helped twist my arm into breaking it open.  This whisky is mixed from malt which has been aged in (deep breath) Olorsos and Madeira butts, port and marsala woods, Bourbon barrels and Cabernet Sauvignon Barriques.   After which I can but presume it spent some time ageing in the kitchen sodding sink as that seems to be the only thing they have missed out.

Incidentally is it just me or does that display box just take the piss?