Tag Archive: Dalmore


Another Thus Drank Zarathusta, and this time a whisky! As always feedback is much appreciated. This one has a few cruder jokes than previous thus dranks and I’m not quite sure it suits the style of the site. So, if you like, dislike, let me know as I’ve tried to respond to previous criticism of the vids.

Anyway, hope you enjoy

Dalmore: 15 Year (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: 15 Year: 40% ABV)

Visual: Bronzed gold.

Viscosity: Quite a few fast thin streaks.

Nose: Almonds. Marmalade. Butterscotch and shortbread. Light sulphur. Water adds vanilla and tangerine.

Body: Thick texture. Golden syrup. Hints of glacier cherry. Shortbread. Fruitcake. Very smooth. Water adds toffee and mandarin orange.

Finish: Fruitcake and cherries. Marmalade. Shortbread. Water again adds toffee. Also much more marmalade with water.

Conclusion: Will I ever give a Dalmore a bad write up?  So far they have had quite the winning streak.  The trademark flavour of Dalmore is the marmalade touches. This takes that element and just blows the lid off. Fresh mandarin orange, smooth as can be. It takes the orange flavour from being an element and makes it instead THE element.

This does give it a more limited range than the 12 in some ways. It doesn’t have the same chocolate style, however it really explores the orange flavour, giving it a much more intricate profile.

As always with Dalmore it has lovely smooth texture and a refined air. While more single note here the added smoothness makes it feel much more luxurious.   This really is whisky where you can just relax and take it in without needing to struggle against the spirit.

It does bring in some elements to round it out such as the fruitcake that it holds at the back. It is when you add water though that you fully realise the whisky, again fresh mandarin orange but so very definitive in its expression.

I won’t put it as my favourite Dalmore due to not having that much variety to its notes, but when the harshest criticisms I can give is that it isn’t the best Dalmore I’ve had then that is weak criticism indeed.

Very tasty fresh and smooth.

Background: Drunk at The Star which has a pretty nice whisky selection. It seems that I am getting reasonably trusted with whisky reviews now as several places have allowed me to carry the whisky bottle to better spots for taking a photo. Dalmore is one of my preferred whiskies and I always like trying different variants.  This was drunk amidst a debate on exactly how old a computer game has to be to be considered retro. I still hold that anything more recent that Doom 2 does not bloody count.

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?

Dalmore: Cigar Malt (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: No Age Statement: 40% ABV)

Visual: Slightly treacle hazed golden syrup colour. The water noticeably swirls within when added to the whisky.

Viscosity: Slides quickly down the glasses sides in a solid sheet.

Nose: Butterscotch, tobacco pouches in very light touches. Golden syrup and marmalade. Slight menthol and red grapes. Water adds light gingerbread and milk chocolate.

Body: Very sweet up front, yet heavy booming and forceful. Red grapes, blood oranges and sherried spices. Tingling orange crème centres. Light menthol. Water makes smother and sweeter, almost treacle like.

Finish: Milk chocolate. Light menthol and tobacco again. Chocolate mint crème centres. Water makes much more obvious the mint cream and ads a nice shortbread touch.

Conclusion:  Oh yes, Dalmore has yet to let me down. Built as an intended accompaniment to cigars, you can really see where they were going with this one.

Big booming powerful strokes in the body, thicker texture and menthol refreshing style all hint at something designed to hold its own with the strong flavours a cigar would bring.

Bit of a pity I don’t smoke then.

While it occasionally hints at a tobacco aroma itself, the butterscotch is much more the main element it brings to the fore, which complements the standard Dalmore marmalade and chocolate nicely.

A huge robust take on the Dalmore style, taking everything and adding a punch to it. It feels like it has much more abv than it actually does, not in alcohol burn as the spirit is very smooth, but in thickness and grip to the flavour.

A lovely mix of Dalmore refined style and forceful spirit.

Background: After finding a hotel bar that boasted over 300 premium spirits I ended up running around trying to get a notepad and pen since I didn’t have my usual kit with me.  Thanks to Martin who helped with the photos for the drinks.  Cigar Malt is also known as Grand Reserva according to the Michael Jackson Malt Whisky Companion and is a mix of between  ten to twenty-year-old whisky (or so that same tome says)

Dalmore 40 Year (Highland Scottish Single Malt Whisky: 40 Years Old: 40% ABV)

(Note: Due to being tried at the whisky show, these were smaller measures done in a packed and friendly social environment, so are not as full notes as normal, however the chance to tasting note such a range of high quality whiskies was not to be missed)

Visual: Dark honeyed bronze with rich red traces.

Viscosity: A few surprisingly fast steaks and a batch of middling speed and thickness.

Nose: Figs, raisins and milk chocolate. Rich plums, backed by slight dust and mellow oak.

Body: Golden syrup, red grapes and oak. Raisins, an almost custard sweetness, lots of milk chocolate and then building charring.

Finish: A light air, chocolate, charring and raisins. The bitter chocolate hits first then smoothes into a chocolate gateaux style.

Conclusion: A wonderful expression of the already distinctive Dalmore whisky. The nose is fantastic and full bodied, a meal in itself with dark fruits and sultry sweetness.  By comparison the body can but seem slightly a let down with comparative simplicity, even though the chocolate it brings through is delicious in itself.

The finish more than makes up for it, with a distinct creaminess and wonderful expanding chocolate from bitter to milky smooth. A chocolate elegance in a glass.  Most definitely a top notch Dalmore, and one that I would consider the peak of the style if later that day I had not had the opportunity to try the amazingly complex Dalmore King Alexander III which wowed me to new heights (and at significantly cheaper cost).

Still one of the few spirits that reaches this age with such style and panache, worth a try if you get the chance without selling a lung to pay for it.

Wemyss Malts: Dalmore 1990 Tropical Spice (Scottish Single Cask Single Malt Highland Whisky: 19 Year: 59.4% ABV)

Visual: Very deep amber bronze.

Viscosity: Initial omnipresent puckering followed a procession of very slow streaks.

Nose: Raisin, turmeric, wood shavings, quite floral. Cinnamon and eraser dust. Water reveals honeycomb and sherried fruits.

Body: Smooth, very smooth. raisins, charring and chocolate Water makes raisin much more obvious and makes the alcohol much more manageable. Also brings out a touch of rum spice and terrys chocolate orange.

Finish: Bitter chocolate, dry dust and toffee. Water turns it to more malt chocolate and spiced blood oranges, though oddly the tongue numbing alcohol is still present.

Conclusion: A fantastic drink that is reliant on just the right sprinkling of water to make it find its peak.

Taken straight, this is forceful, almost sense numbing, but with powerful spice and spirit. If really finds its mark though with a teaspoon of water. This brings out all the fantastic orange, rum and spice and lets them play. Powerful, exotic and yet playful – everything is on show and oh so alluring.

A touch more water and the, yet still tasty, drink is loosing the edge of flavour, but none of the fire.

It’s a fine bottling for experimenting with, like a work of art hidden in a maze – it takes time to investigate and reach its brilliant core.

Not one for a quick dram though, its too unlikely to reach that fine point of satisfaction.

A whisky of delayed pleasure.

Dalmore 12 Year Old (Scottish Highland single malt whisky: 12 years Old: 40% ABV)

Visual: Dark copper.

Viscosity: Medium speed and thickness, takes a few moments to pucker.

Nose: Honey glazed sugar lattice, planed wood. Punchy strength, cinnamon and sherry soaked grapes. Brown sugar. Gas fire. Pencil shavings. Alters heavily to wild flowers, light and sweet with water.

Body: Honey and treacle. Apricot, marzipan and almonds. Water adds raspberry, butterscotch and spice.

Finish: Oak, light, slight burnt and alcohol. Comparatively simple compared to the rest of the whisky.

Conclusion: A distinguished relaxed whisky with a nonchalant air. Whilst a cigar would ruin the taste it most definitely matches the image. A brilliant nose and a punchy sweet body are combined with enough force to make the flavour stick.

The only weakness is the finish that is somewhat light, however this is a whisky that has aroused an interest in its distillery and I will have to seek out more expressions from them.

A whisky for relaxed companionship, warm fires and dinner jackets.

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