By Kurt Maitland
Located twenty miles north of the Scottish city of Inverness, The Dalmore qualifies as a Highland distillery. It is one of the crown jewels of the Whyte & Mackay portfolio, a collection that has seen a lot of interested potential buyers as of late. The distillery’s has produced many rarefied and dearly sought-after offerings, and just a few years back its Trinitas 64 Year Old was the first new single malt release (“new” referring to date of release, and not to the 64 year old whisky) to break the six-digit barrier at auction.
In a line-up with expressions like that, The Dalmore 15 is one step above the entry-level rung. Started in 2007, this single malt spends twelve years aging in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, then three years of finishing in three different sherry woods – Amoroso, Apostoles, and Matusalem oloroso. The whisky is bottled at 40% abv.
Color: Aged gold
Nose: Stone fruit, spice, fruit cake and sherry
Taste: Vanilla in front with a spicy middle with a fruity light burn at the end. With a little water added, it becomes slightly drier with the fruit found in the nose becoming more prominent and more of a match/equal to the vanilla. The texture is smooth and light with a slightly oily feel.
Finish: Nice slow burn that lingers a little longer than you think it would in an 80 proof release.
The stone fruit, spice notes, and sherry from the triple casking combine to give off a rich aroma that is reminiscent of a freshly baked fruit cake. Do not let words like “cake” and “fruit” lure you into thinking this is an overly sweet whisky. It is just full of flavor and packs a punch in the taste department.
In the United States, expect to pay in between $62 and $70. The upper end of that range corresponds to the British pricing of £43 ($72).