Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New releases > Dalmore 1995 Vintage

The north Highland distillery of Dalmore have launched a new single malt whisky in the UK. The whisky has been specially selected by Dalmore's Distillery Manager Ian Mackay and will be sold exclusively through The Whisky Shop - the UK's largest specialist whisky retail chain.  The Dalmore 1995 Vintage has been matured in combination of ex-Matusalem sherry casks and ex-bourbon American oak casks and is limited to just 1,800 bottles.  It is bottled at 40% ABV and can be purchased at any of the chain's 18 stores or via, costing £84.99 a bottle.

Speaking about the release, Ian Mackay comments, "I was delighted to be able to choose a whisky that would represent my favourite style of single malt for The Whisky Shop. I’ve selected a whisky that has been matured in two of my favourite casks, and I just hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I do!". 

Andrew Torrance, the Managing Director of The Whisky Shop chain adds, "Ian has over 30 years experience working in the whisky industry, and his choice of casks for us certainly didn’t disappoint. The brand of Dalmore has gone from strength to strength over the last few years both in liquid supremacy and packaging excellence, so having our own exclusive chosen by the Distillery Manager will be a real asset".

The Dalmore distillery is located in the northern Highland town of Alness in Scotland and overlooks the imposing Cromarty Firth. It was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson and has had an interesting history, including being used in the First World War by the Royal Navy to manufacture explosives! The current capacity of the distillery is four million litres per year. Dalmore is currently owned by the famous whisky name of Whyte & Mackay, which is now a subsidiary of the Indian company United Spirits - they own the famous Whyte & Mackay blended whisky brand, plus the distilleries of Fettercairn, Jura and Tamnavulin. United Spirits took over in 2007 and have since re-branded most of their whisky ranges and packaging.

Our tasting notes
The colour is golden amber and the nose is rich and expressive.  There are plenty of initial aromas of caramel/toffee, brown sugar and dark dried fruits (think of raisins, prunes and figs especially).  With time in the glass, further aromas join in - spiced orange, cinnamon, coconut and hints of creamy milk chocolate and a whiff of burnt matchstick (this element in particular seems to increase with water).  On the palate this whisky is soft, gentle and warming with a slightly oily mouth feel.  A distinct note of tangy spiced orange kicks things off, followed by the caramel, honey, further wood spices (cinnamon and nutmeg especially), vanilla and dried fruits. Something darker begins to appear underneath, with notes of milk chocolate and espresso coming through. More drying woody spices are present in the background, which increase with time and balance the sweetness. The finish is lengthy, rich and warming. There is again plenty of caramel/toffee-like sweetness tempered by drier wood spice and a lovely hit of that tangy orange zest.  Delicious.

What's the verdict?
This is a good whisky and one that is a slight departure from the regular Dalmore range, which exhibit heavy ex-sherry cask maturation characteristics. This is a little lighter and shows good elegance, depth and complexity of aromas and flavour.  It will appeal to those who like popular single malt whiskies such as the Balvenie Doublewood or Macallan Fine Oak range, both of which mix ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks in a similar way. Reports are that this new release has sold heavily up to Xmas.  If you wish to buy one, then don't hang around as it may not be around for much longer.

1 comment:

Gal Granov said...

Agreed. all in all a good dram (also reviewed on my blog some weeks ago), however as i wrote, once would expect such a limited edition of 1800 btls to be bottled at a wee bit higher ABV % say 546-48% if not at CS...
would love to see such a dalmore.