Contrary to what my typical reviews are, my whisky budget isn’t the equivalent of some small nations that are still reeling from much larger nations historically screwing them over.
That’s the academic term.
So when asked if I wanted to split Dalmore 25 1990 Cadenhead Single Cask, I can’t tell you why I agreed to it.
Let me be clear: I have nothing against Dalmore as a distillery, nor Cadenhead. Heck I’ve made sure to visit Cadenhead every chance I’ve gotten (Three. I know, I’m amazing).
I just know what I typically like. That all said, it was the holidays, I was given some money for Xmas, we were drinking, I was offered, it was a crazy time.
Oh, and the reviews were good. That helped as well.
I’ve spoken in the past about Dalmore being hard to pin down. They release their cask strength offerings at a high premium that has so far stopped me from trying them and instead putting a down payment on a car. However I have been lucky enough to find some of the Dalmore IBs. That said, they’ve all been ex-bourbon casks.
So let’s see if I screwed up my ever shrinking budget with this one. I’m going in somewhat blind, and I accept that I make mistakes (lots of them, in fact). Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: Sherry butt
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Cereal, cloves, nectarine, Sparkling wine (classic method), roses
Initial nose is lighter, then dives into that spiced pie area. Has some yeast/pear combination that reminds me of a Champagne style sparkling wine.
Which in and of itself has some other notes, as wine tasters will tell you. So to elaborate based on my minimal champagne drinking (see above: budgets), there’s a mixture of pear, strong sour yeast, and maybe some biscuit. That’s here. And god do I love it (and wish I didn’t, see above: budget).
Taste: Peach pie, cinnamon toast crunch (the cereal, not the act of biting into cinnamon toast), pineapple gelatin, white chocolate
If the nose was a bit restricted, yet enticing (like a warm pie cooling on a ledge in summer), then the taste is a completely sober and ready to go consenting adult who you wish to have sexual relations with and is really ready to go.
Lots and lots of cinnamon, creamy notes, and a strong, strong acidic note (the whisky, not the person who wants you). Also there’s this chemical element that I’ve found in other Dalmores. However it reminds me of JELL-O so I’m pretty happy with it.
Finish: Caramel, dry, macadamia nuts, apple, cinnamon, raisin butter tarts, grape jelly, honey
Initially it’s a simple, dry caramel finish. Then there’s some nuttiness, and then it’s all like “Hey, what goes with the kitchen sink? Yeah, that’s right: FUCKING EVERYTHING!”
I have a special place in my heart (it’s blocked with fat) for whiskies that throw everything at you. They rarely pop up. And this? This is one of those. It takes a good sherry cask, a long time, and just beats you with rich caramel flavours usually reserved for Xmas dinner at a Wasp household.
Conclusion: Let’s break this down: Nose? Inviting, floral, cereal, and not rough in the least. Smells like sparkling wine (to me).
Taste? Big buttery, stone fruits, a sugary cereal (see above: heart blockage), and finally a proper place for Dalmore’s chemical note.
Finally the finish is amazing and throws an entire dessert tray from a local church at you. And you thank them for it, because you were raised with manners, dammit.
So yeah, pick this up. It’s well worth it.
Scotch review #839, Highland review #136, Whisky Network review #1350