Rare is it that I find a distillery that I’ve never had. The reason isn’t because I’ve had so many: More so the reason is because I’ve had so many of the ones that have OB or aren’t owned by Diageo/Pernod that are used for blends.
Well, blends and the odd IB that pops up to say hello.
Rarer still have I never heard of them. So when I realized that I both owned a sample of Dailuaine 15 1997 Single Cask (Master of Malt) and also really didn’t know anything about Dailuaine,
Spelled with one or two Ls just to throw the debtors off the trail, this distillery dates back to 1852. Eventually it teemed up with some distillery called Talisker on some such Island. I don’t know, haven’t heard of them. Hope they start doing well for themselves.
Both distilleries are still part of Diageo, so don’t worry, they didn’t get split up. Over the years Dailuaine would use expand, replace it’s malting floors with a Saladin box (auto flipper for the barley), add in internal (steam) heating to the stills, stop using the Saladin Box, and then basically used in blends and not added to Diageo’s line up of distilleries you can buy regularly from.
So it’s not a long or exciting story. But it’s still a story, so that counts, right? Maybe. There’s a Flora and Fauna release. And some rare malts. A random manager’s dram…. screw it, let’s see what this tastes like.
Distillation Date: 25 Nov 1997
Bottling Date: 01 Apr 2013
Cask Number: 15562
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Perfume, apple crumble, lemon pudding, lime gelatin, cloves
Light nose, even at the abv. The sherry elements come right through. Lots of citrus here, but it pairs with other flavours to make interesting combinations.
Not a strong nose. This is not a sherry bomb. Or really a bomb. More so a small whisper.
Taste: Lime chicken, yeast, lemon,pulp, caramel sauce, coconut meat
More citrus, then some off notes. This one is odd. It goes from earth to sweet really quick.
Actually there’s these meaty, pulpy parts that just aren’t working for me. I like the citrus, and then… meatiness.
Finish: Butter, candy coating, brine, gravel, coconut oil, pineapple
Again, two things going on here on opposite sides. One is a sweet aspect, and then the other is a rough, almost dirty flavour combo. But then it takes you back with nice flavours.
I’m confused, is what I’m saying.
Conclusion: This bi-polar dram goes from great tasting sweets to rough tasting earth and back over and over. I want to give it higher marks. I want to enjoy the happy days, when I could be happy, and didn’t secretly hope something horrible would happen to give me some gumption.
I mean… I wanted to like the dram. And then it’s bad. Then it’s unique and interesting. Then there’s a rough part. There’s too many rough parts. It’s a pass from me.
Scotch review #572, Speyside reviews #176, Whisky Network review #958