Dalmore Distillery Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from plump, golden barley sourced from the rich, coastal soils of the Black Isle. Once the barley has been harvested, it is milled and mashed before being fermented with water drawn from the Cromarty Firth. Prior to reaching the firth, however, the water travels from Loch Morie through a number of peat bogs and limestone quarries, and thus, contributes a slightly mineral and chewy mouthfeel to the whisky.
Once the barley has been fermented, the wash is distilled twice, first through Dalmore Distillery's copper-pot wash stills and then again through its copper-pot spirit stills. The wash stills have an unusually flat-top, while the spirit stills are equipped with cold water jackets. This unusual equipment - the water jackets rinse cold water near the top of the still - makes it difficult for the lighter elements of the whisky to pass through the still, and ultimately results in a more opulent and rich whisky.
Following distillation, Dalmore Distillery Cigar Malt Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky is fractionated and matured in three different types of casks. While a portion of the whisky is allowed to mature in used bourbon casks, another portion is matured in three decade-old Matusalem Oloroso Sherry butts, and the remainder is matured in casks that were previously used to mature Cabernet Sauvignon from the Saint-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux. After the whisky has matured in the various casks for 10 to 15 years, Richard Paterson - Dalmore Distillery's third generation master-distiller - fuses the whisky together in order to create Dalmore Distillery Cigar Malt Reserve (Paterson is such an expert that his nose was insured for £7 million).
Dalmore Distillery Cigar Malt Reserve has soft notes of cinnamon, figs, honey and orange zest, which are complemented by notes of stone fruits (particularly plums), cherries, apricots and raspberries.
Dalmore 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is aged for 14 years in American oak casks that were previously used to mature bourbon. Following its initial beautyrest, the whisky is double-barreled, or finished, for an additional 4 years in 30
year-old Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks. This dual maturation process gives the whisky an intense aroma of red fruits, particularly raspberries, plums and cherries. Notes of milk chocolate, coffee and citrus dominate the palate, and give way to a spicy finish that is accented by notes of caramel, pear and nutmeg.
Matured for an initial nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being carefully divided. One half continues its maturation in bourbon barrels, the other half is transferred to 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. Complex, yet balanced, The Dalmore 12 year old is the epitome of the Dalmore house style.
Crafted to honour the act of saving Scotland’s King in 1263, this expression unites six specially selected casks housing spirit of perfect maturity. Whiskies matured in ex-bourbon casks, Matusalem oloroso sherry wood, Madeira barrels, Marsala casks, port pipes and Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques are brought together in perfect harmony. Each cask gives its own flavour notes, delivering a unique complex single malt whisky revered by connoisseurs.
The Dalmore 15 year old was first launched in 2007. Matured in matusalem, apostoles and amoroso sherry casks, it proffers all those winter spice, orange zest and chocolate notes characteristic of Dalmore.
Tasting Notes Nose: A chocolate orange. Potpourri, perfumed. Fruitcake, sherry.
Palate: Medium, lovely delivery. Zesty orange, Blue Curaçao, chocolate. Winter spice, stem ginger in syrup. Hints of anise and a little hickory.
Finish: Malty barley and smoky espresso.