A few weeks ago we were invited to attend the launch of the new limited edition Dalmore ‘Quintessence’ Whisky. Preceding the actual tasting and introduction of the whisky, was a brief masterclass on mindfulness from James Milford. Mindfulness is a form of meditation/mental training that allows people the opportunity of focusing one’s attention on the present moment and acknowledging all the facets, thoughts and feelings pertaining to the moment. James introduced how mindfulness can be incorporated into one’s everyday life with even the most simple tasks, and how mindfulness can be utilised when tasting whisky.
To most of the attendees mindfulness was something new, but the majority felt that tasting beverages such as whisky, wines, etc, through the general sequence of smelling, swirling, tasting, appreciating, is probably the one area that they use mindfulness currently in their life.
Now back to the whisky; this new release from Dalmore is a non-age-statement whisky and the first and only single malt whisky that has been matured in five different red wines casks. Richard Paterson has always attested to his passion for exceptional red wine, so what could be more befitting than blending a unique whisky that showcases this passion.
The whisky is primarily matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels then divided into the five hand selected Californian red wine casks. Each of the casks individually held the following different red wine varietals; Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. After 5 years of finishing in each different barrel, the whiskies are then re-introduced to each other with the aid of Richard Paterson’s master blending skill.
Immediately you can see that this limited edition Dalmore is something different with its golden peachy hue, much lighter than the dark rich sherried whiskies that are the epitome of the Dalmore style. On the nose: at first you will find raisin notes which are followed by fresher greener notes which then evolve into the more defined dried fruit and nut mix, think dried cranberries and cashews. On the palate: it is velvety and rich, typical of the Dalmore style spirit which showcased the classic orange undercurrent but coupled with cranberries again, dark fruits, plums and a vanilla sweet spice. The finish: is medium which leaves behind a level of sweetness and the vanilla spiciness from the whiskies initial American white oak maturation.
The verdict: in some ways this is a very different Dalmore but at the same time there is a familiarity for those who are already initiated with the distillery. After leaving the whisky for 15-20 minutes the most notable development was the nose which became sweeter with notes of strawberry-cream candies. The limited edition Quintessence has an ABV of 45%, which is slightly higher than most other Dalmore whiskies. Adding just a drop of water brought out more of the red fruit notes.
This new release from Dalmore is available to buy online or in-store at any well-stocked whisky shop from the 12th August, for the RRP of £1000.
For more information on this whisky and others from the Dalmore range, visit the official Dalmore website.