Thanks to /u/Davyj0ne5 for this sample.
I recently commented that I have been reviewing some rare drams and that I was coming back to earth with some more standard whiskies.
Then I read what I was about to review and realized that I’m warped in thinking Dalwhinnie Distillery Bottling was, in fact, “down to earth”.
So my own warped reality aside, what is this whisky?
If you visit the Dalwhinnie Distillery, they have a slightly higher proof version that you can buy there. There’s other places that do this, in limited runs. Some of them you pour yourself, some are limited release vattings, others are the Distiller’s Edition.
Suffice to say Dalwhinnie Distillery Bottling is there. For those of you who want something special but maybe not cask strength and not the distiller’s edition, of which has varying barrels used or distribution (so as to be less special).
But how does it taste? Being special only takes us so far, after all.
Price: 120 Euros from the Distillery
Number of bottles: 6,000
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Mango, cardamon, wildflower honey, coconut
More floral than the standard 15, some tropical notes to compliment it. Less citrus-forward, more different flavours. Nothing that’s brash, more light and Lowland-esque. Takes some time to coax it out too.
Taste: Lime jujube, clotted cream, mint
Here is the sweetness that I’m used to in Dalwhinnie. That said, it steps aside to share the scene with cream and mint, versus the oak forward aspect.
Finish: White chocolate, woody, cardamon, cinnamon, lemon, mint
There’s the wood, right at the end, with a strong sweet note and more of the spice, citrus, and mint from before. It falls apart a bit at the end, missing some of the tropical notes and some complexity, but nonetheless is a fun dram to sip on.
Conclusion: Much more unique than any other Dalwhinnie I’ve had. This actually could make someone interested in the whisky. But is it “I went all the way to the distillery and this is the bottle I bought” level? Sigh, no.
I enjoyed sipping on this, and feel most people would. It’s getting more complex than others out there. However, for myself, if I’m at a distillery and the offering isn’t cask strength and/or complex, then am I paying a premium? If I compare this to, say, Teeling’s hand pours or Jamieson’s hand pours or even Dalwhinnie’s hand-poured barrels, do I think you should save the money? Not if you’re like me.
If not, it’s a fun dram you’ll cherish that does a bit more and the nostalgia will be there for you.
Scotch review #1196, Highland review #203, Whisky Network review #1842