A few weeks back I had the great pleasure of sampling another fine single malt Scotch from the Dalmore distillery. Founded in 1839, The Dalmore (which translates to ‘the Big Meadow’) is notorious for being robust but yet musky and full of some of the most beautiful notes. With the use of of a mixture of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, Dalmore’s new make is perfect for sherry wood maturation. This leads to a rich and sherried nose, with sweet malt, fruit cake and oranges – of course makes for a very enjoyable dram. This rare 35 Year Old expression from the Highland distillery is derived from a special three wood assemblage using a Bourbon barrel, a Matusalem 30-year-old Oloroso Sherry butt and a rare vintage 1970 Port Colheita Pipe. Presented in a bespoke crystal decanter crafted by Baccarat, the prestigious French crystal house, and featuring The Dalmore’s iconic ’12-point Royal Stag’ created by leading Scottish silversmiths, Hamilton & Inches.
On the nose: there is inviting waft of currants, raisins, maraschino cherries and dark chocolate. These initial notes are followed by vanilla, marzipan, cinnamon, turmeric a hint of black pepper, brown sugar and liquorice. There are also some notes of marmalade, lemon zest and red wine like note. The nose is rounded-off by notes of leather, tobacco, fennel seeds, honey, chestnuts and a note I can only describe as old books. On the palate: those bitter dark chocolate notes are evident, followed by raisins and currants, as well as a nutty flavour. These initial notes are succeeded by cinnamon, tobacco, a leathery note, black pepper and brown sugar. Completing the palate are notes of oranges, lemon zest, ground coffee, stem ginger and a hint of a tropical flavour. The finish: is medium/long, smooth and sweet, with lingering smoky oak, pepper and a nuttiness.
The verdict: It’s not often we get to sample a dram like this from Dalmore but when we do – it is special. There is so much depth in flavour to the 35yo expression, of course it has plenty of rich dark notes but there are some welcomed, lighter tropical notes that were quite unexpected. This 35-year-old expression, which is limited to 130 bottles in the UK has an ABV of 40%, which is slightly lower than most other Dalmore whiskies but this low volume wasn’t noticeable. This is perhaps a dram that doesn’t require any water but if you feel the need to add water, then only add a few drops.
This limited release from Dalmore is available to buy online or in-store at any well-stocked whisky shop for approx. of £4000.
For more information on this 35-year-old expression and others from the Dalmore range, visit the official Dalmore website.