Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dalmore 12 Year Old

Whisky Type/Region: Single Malt Scotch Whisky/Highland

Bottle Size: 750ml

Alcohol by Volume: 40%

Notes: This is the first single malt I bought on my own, without recommendation. I was in a local grocery store, looking at their surprisingly well stocked liquor section, and came across this oddly shaped bottle with a little painted stag's head and a parchment styled label. The Dalmore 12 Year Old.   

I had never heard of this stuff, but it looked interesting, so I picked it over the more familiar Glenlivet and Glenfiddich offerings on the shelf. Now this was the older late 90s bottling, where the blend had a 60/40 bourbon cask to sherry cask finish, and I loved the complexity and unique flavor this single malt had.

At the time, I wasn't aware of my family's clan history and connection to this distillery. I just liked the packaging, and loved the balanced whisky that came in it. Having done some research, I now know that members of clan MacKenzie owned and operated the Dalmore distillery for over 100 years, until they sold it to Whyte and Mackay in 1960. I'm happy to note that Dalmore's connection to clan MacKenzie continues today, with special releases like "Dalmore MacKenzie" and "Dalmore, Castle Leod" and the latest "Dalmore Cromartie. Some of the proceeds from the sale of these releases goes to a fund to maintain the upkeep of historic Castle Leod.  

This review is on the current version of the 12 year old, with the much bigger stag's head, and a smaller, simpler label! This is the new Dalmore 12, with a 50/50 blend of single malts aged in bourbon and sherry casks. 

Nose: A very citrus note of orange, followed by a little bit of chocolate and vanilla. 

Taste: The orange is still there, but mixed with a malty spice kick, and a hint of dark chocolate and carmel from the Bourbon barrels that comes through, to mix with the fruit from the sherry casks. 

Finish: The orange continues, with faint flavors of vanilla and carmel remaining after everything else fades away.

My Personal Ranking: 86/100 (In this price and age range, this is one of the best!)

Slainte Mhath!

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