The Dalmore line has received a face lift in recent years. Their parent company, Whyte and Mackay, seems to want what Macallan did with their line of bottlings, which is re-launch it as a luxury brand. What has helped out in this regard is that Dalmore has a plentiful number of stocks going back some 60 years and more. We are seeing a number of these stocks bottled with extraordinary age statements, selling at monstrous prices at the auction house. The Dalmore is certainly gaining a reputation at the auction house, but what about the local liquor store?
Our expression in question today, Dalmore 12, has changed a bit as well. At one point only a third was finished in sherry oak casks for the extra flavor, but these days we are seeing a 50/50 ratio of American to sherry oak aging. The distillery is doing this at great expense. Spanish oak is not cheap, my friends. When it comes to sherry finished whiskies, or with any other whisky for that matter, there are any number of factors that distinguish quality from disappointment. One of them is the quality of casks. How many times have they been filled before? Have they been refurbished with new charring? Are they fresh or tired? This can be the success or downfall of a sherry finish. There is also a danger of imbalance from over sherried flavors, and of course the question: does the stuff in the bottle match up to the marketing message? Let’s see what we thought…
SWC Group Review
Nose – Deep raisin, dried fruit. Little smoke and some citrus, hint of oak and vanilla.
Taste – Falls a bit flat here. Thick mouth feel with citrus, sweet fruit and a vanilla hint.
Finish – Short, peat on front. Oak throughout with a hint of fruit on back but dries up.
Comment – Disappointment. Some good flavors, but needs to wake up. Needs life. Tired cask? Perhaps a second look in the future.
SWC Rating – 77/100
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