Saturday, August 7, 2010

Whisky review: The Dalmore 12

The Dalmore 12 is half from bourbon casks and half from sherried casks. I read in a magazine recently that it used to be only 30% from sherry casks; at a recent tasting with Richard Paterson, the master blender for Whyte and Mackay (i.e. the guy who decides how the Dalmore is made), I asked him why he changed it. He said it was because they wanted to charge a higher price for the whisky and he thought that increasing the sherry content would justify the price increase. Not sure if I like the reasoning.

Another thing that didn't impress me too much is that the whisky from the "sherry" casks is actually just whisky finished in sherry casks. So it's actually whisky that was in bourbon casks for ~10 years and then put into sherry casks for the rest of the maturation, though the bottle doesn't mention that part (but Richard did). Seems a little deceptive to say it's from sherry casks when it's only finished in sherry casks.

Either way, this is a very well-done whisky that I would probably buy again. Here are my rudimentary notes:

Nose: Wow, just a lot going on here, all very nice. Sweet orange, cherry, peach, green apple, chocolate and toffee.

Palate: More fruit, oak. Not as full as the nose led me to believe it would be.

Finish: More oak; dry, but lingering and giving me some warmth.

Rating (of 100): 85. The nose is the best part.

Well, nobody said I was a poet. Keep an eye out for more tastings as I stumble through my personal collection and attempt to describe my perceptions using a third-grade vocabulary and tasting abilities to match.

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