Thanks to /u/twiddleDD for this sample.
This is yet another continuation of my ongoing series that I’m calling “Scotch Malts, Wife’s Selection”, in which my wife goes through my backlog of SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) samples that I haven’t reviewed yet, pours them blind, and then I review it blind.
Dalmore leaves me with a question as what to write.
It’s a distillery in which they have placed themselves in a high end whisky space on the whole marketing mix. I considered quoting a bunch of Peter Gabriel’s “Games without Frontiers” instead of getting into it, given today’s whisky’s name is Dalmore SMWS 13.47 “It’s a knockout”.
And if that song isn’t stuck in your head when you read it, you should go listen to it.
Back to Dalmore. They release whiskies that are not typically cask strength and finished or matured in ex-sherry casks. Yes, there are some options at cask strength, with vintages. However those are a tad pricy. For those of us who need to feed ourselves with the equivalent prices.
Thus the vast majority of us (myself included) have few choices. We can either review what we can get, which is typically between 40 and 46%, or we can go to IBs to try something cask strength without having to take out mortgages or sell our kidneys.
However IBs are usually sold separately because they don’t match what the blender wants to eventually mix into standard bottlings. Add to that this company bottles some of it’s single casks and we don’t know much about them (as few people reviewing).
So what do the IBs get? Add to that this specific whisky is ex-bourbon barrel, and some of the others I’ve had were that as well. So perhaps I don’t know Dalmore enough to comment on it.
Or maybe they want it that way.
But enough thinking and reading with the booky book stuff, let’s get to the whisky, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Date Distilled: 12.05.2005
Age: 10 years
Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon barrel
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Cotton, peach pie, solvent, cranberry, musty, apricot cake
So this whole time I’ve been trying to place that Dalmore note that I half remember (as I don’t drink them too often). And the solvent nose here is just that. And I missed it.
Oddly enough there’s still some fruit and cake like notes here, which I would have assumed came from a sherry cask. It’s interesting to see the base malt is giving some of that.
Taste: Apricot, cinnamon, brown sugar, broad pudding, lemon loaf, cashew
Fruity, again. More stone fruit than cherries/strawberries/red round balls of sugar that don’t cause the dia-beet-us.
Nice nuttiness, more of those spice and winter dessert breads (which do cause the dia-beet-us). Nice to sip on.
Finish: Ginger, black pepper, caramel, peach juice, musty/alcohol
Decent spice, though there’s a big alcohol/youth burn as more time and water is added. Kinda ruins the vibe we have going.
All in all the finish shows off the youth of the dram.
Conclusion: So what should we gather from this whisky about Dalmore? Well something in the Dalmore sauce gives us some spices that we typically associate with sherry casks. Thus they probably use both to give higher than normal amounts of those flavours, which means when they water down the whisky, they stay.
Or this one is a freak and we’re jumping to conclusions.
This whisky was an interesting, if just okay younger whisky. It has some interesting dessert notes. Like quite a few of SMWS recent offerings, it needed just a bit more time, and was released too early. It’s better than the age would denote, however it needed a bit more time, so it’s a pass for me.
Actually: Dalmore SMWS 13.47 “It’s a knockout”
Scotch review #828, Highland review #133, Whisky Network review #1339