Whisky Connosr

Dalmore 12 Year Old

Average score from 37 reviews and 120 ratings 82

Dalmore 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Dalmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Dalmore 12 Year Old

Hopefully this (mostly) positive review doesn't get me booted from the site

With all the different whiskies on the market, it's easy to overlook or forget certain distilleries. Some distilleries make a strong first impression for better or worse, and some leave you feeling lukewarm. It's no secret that I generally prefer higher strength offerings and rarely buy whiskies bottled at 40% abv. Dalmore 12 Year Old hasn't really been on my radar for awhile. I enjoyed it well enough when I began my journey, but I felt I had "outgrown" it and I hadn't had it for the last two years or so. A recent chat with a good friend and a sale at the LCBO pushed me to give this whisky another go.

Bête noire

The Dalmore distillery is the bête noire of many a budding whisky enthusiast. Dalmore commits many of the cardinal sins according to the whisky cognoscenti: they make liberal use of spirit caramel (E150a), they chill-filter their whisky, and most egregious, they bottle most of their core expressions at the minimum 40% abv. There is some evidence to suggest most people can't accurately determine whether a whisky has been chill-filtered or not, but it falls under the "doesn't improve the product/might degrade the product" umbrella for me. While these things might be annoying, the most important factor should always be the aroma, taste, and texture of the whisky, as far as I'm concerned. The "geek" factors can and should be assessed separately from the "touch, taste, and smell" factors.(I concede that lower abv % affects the touch, smell, taste factor)

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): clean, bright and fruity, sultana raisins, oranges, walnuts, vanilla, dark chocolate
  • Palate (undiluted): light to medium-bodied but not without some mouth-coating oiliness, a bit of nuttiness, orange zest, vanilla, baking spices (nutmeg, cloves), dark chocolate
  • Finish: medium length, dark chocolate, espresso, leather, oak spices lingering

I did not add any water to this whisky. I didn't see the need. It is richer than I expected based on my memory of this malt. Despite being bottled at the minimum 40% abv, the flavours and aromas pop out of the glass. Everybody with whom I shared a glass enjoyed it. I was also surprised by the complexity at play here. This is no one note wonder. There's a lot going on and even the empty glass offers some lovely oak and leather aromas. I don't remember liking Dalmore 12 this much the last time I had it, but I'm nothing if not honest. There's a very good chance I will replace this bottle once it's gone, especially if I can get it on sale. There's something to be said for second chances. Of course I'd love to see this bottled at a higher abv %, at natural colour and NCF, but my evaluation is based on an is not an ought, lest I awaken and anger the ghost of David Hume. "Ach ! Ye cannae git an 'is' from an 'ought'"

  • Would I accept a glass if it was offered? Yes
  • Would I order this in a bar or pub? Yes
  • Would I purchase another bottle? Yes

@OdysseusUnbound I am always going to be pleased to see a quote from David Hume.

As for Dalmore 12, I am glad to see some good reports coming out about it. I do hope for your sake that the next bottle of Dalmore 12 you buy is as pleasing to you as is this current one.

@OdysseusUnbound I tasted a dram of Dalmore 12 yo. It is very nice, although the finish is rather short. I would say 84 points. 40% alcohol is just too low . I would prefer Nikka from the barrel anytime.


Sample given to me by a friend. My first whisky of Burns night. My third Dalmore having tried the 15, which was okayish and a NAS with a silly name I can't remember that was forgettable.

The colour of this stuff is bright orange so I guess e150 has made a contribution.


Toffee, raisins and dried fruit, caramelized oranges. A pleasant but uncomplicated nose.


Neat. It's at 40% so no water is involved.

Thin mouthfeel.

Buttered toast, dried fruit, some boiled sweets, bitter tanins. Hard to separate the arrival and developmemt it all feels a bit rolled into one. The finish is quite long and not particularly pleasant with the tanins dominating.


Not an awful malt by any means but an instantly forgettable one. I do wonder what this would be like natural colour, unchill-filtered and at cask strength (or at least 46%) I reckon it would be a cracking whisky.

This just feels like a good whisky neutered.

Really nice bottle though. Which is the main thing for some people I guess.

@Wierdo - Mmmmm! laughing

In fairness, I've never tried a Dalmore but can't say I'm that excited to.


A very rich and oily whisky, the honey, vanilla and coffee notes are immediately evident on the first nosing. After letting it sit for a few minutes, another sniff revealed hints of butter and caramel, with a slight wine/port scent in the background. The first sip was like taking a spoonful of fresh honey. Very sweet and fragrant, the vanilla and honey flavors were the most evident, and some taste of buttered popcorn and buttery pound cake. There is a distinct mouthfeel, with the oils remaining on the tongue after sipping. The aftertaste gives you a bit of lavender, licorice and cotton candy. No smoke whatsoever was evident in this one. I was impressed with the depth of flavors, and there was not a significant alcohol burn with this whisky. To me, this is a unique whisky, and one that would be appropriate to have with dessert, a cappuccino, or to accompany some sweet chocolate. It would also be good on a cold winter night with a hot cup of Earl Grey tea. Personally, I'm not a fan of these sherry/honey bomb ones, but it certainly has its place. For the style of whisky this represents, it's excellent.

Dalmore 12 yo ..... I honestly think that's almost brilliant to write a review about it because it's so non descriptive. There must be better ways to waste your money and still have a little fun. It's the sugar express. My recommendation is Glenfarclas 105 , although I have not tasted that one for a long time. Cheers.

@mhock66, interesting review. Reviews of Dalmore 12 seem to be either similar in their conclusions to yours, or very much like the comments which have followed.

I am always eager to sample Dalmore 12 yo, because I have only tasted it from a friend's bottle, several times, 6 and 7 years ago, and it was hard for me to believe how very little there was to it. There was no "there" there. Even then I thought that there had to be more to other batches of it than there was in the one I was tasting, but I was sure as hell not going to buy a bottle of it based on the samples I had had of it from that bottle.

As @DaveM says, it has a nice-looking bottle. It also has a nice-sounding name. Some say the Dalmore 15 yo is a lot better than the 12 yo. I don't think I've ever managed to get a free taste of the 15 yo, and based on the 12 yo I wouldn't pay a big price for a sample of either one of them at a bar.

This simple sweet style could be much more inexpensively obtained by acquiring a bottle of aged sweetened rum.


Pleasantly sweet nose with raisins and spice. Flavors of vanilla, nutmeg, raisins, dark chocolate and coffee. Smooth bodied and easy drinking. Strong malty backbone present. Lingering lightly sweet-spice finish of dark fruits, prunes and cherries. A very approachable single malt that is sure to please a variety of palates.

I'm curious for your reasoning behind your score. The review you have given is very positive and consistent with my experience. If I had to detract from this bottle, I would mention that I think it might be over sherried, to the point where there is almost a grenadine type flavoring in the profile. Not sure if that would knock my score down to an 83.

I bought this bottle several months ago, had a few glasses, but then I put down in my cellar for a while and forgot about it. It was slightly better than I remembered though. Body is rich with plenty of earthy fruit and spice notes, which help keeps in check the sherry sweetness. Unlike something like Balvenie Doublewood which I find thin, flat and one-dimensional.


The color is a deep reddish-gold, as dark as the darkest Bourbon I’ve poured into a glass. It has slow, syrupy, promising legs.

The nose is unmistakably Scottish: peat, grape, and cream dangling in a framework of old oak. It has a very serious smell that reminds me of Tomintoul or Highland Park. Like some Scotches, it holds a peach and a pear to your nose, but in the background it threatens fire and smoke. In other words, it’s an exciting aroma, wild and domestic at the same time, like a remote village with stone houses and open hearths.

On tasting, it burns the tongue with oak and there’s a long finish of lemongrass, fruit, and hard candy. The citrusy finish is probably the longest I’ve ever experienced, with a general, sugary sweetness and shades of spice and orange peel.


Richard Patterson, master distiller of The Dalmore, is all over YouTube advocating whisky and the "art" of how to go about drinking whisky like a gentleman. Yet, he washes the glass with the same whisky and tosses it across the room, right on the floor, and he tests the water temperature with his own dirty fingers-- An ironical man. This 12 year old expression is bottled at 40% abv, and chuck-full of that forgettable orange hue suggesting caramel coloring E150E. So , I don't expect much. The spirit has been decanted for a whole 24 hours and right now is half way full, and its been opened for about two weeks.

Nose: Mellow, good sherry with a bit of over-ripened grapes. Oak, oranges, caramel and maple.

Palate: Like the nose, this is mellow. Probably one of the smoothest single malts I've ever tried. Then, right away sherry. Orange marmalade and maple. A nice bitterness asserts itself and hangs around for the rest of the ride counter balancing the sweet marmalade. Oak, caramel, honey, and once again maple. All this without and peaks and valleys, steady as it goes.

Finish: Medium with a dash of nuts and spices. Chocolate remains with the bitterness lingering until the very end.

When first opened a was a bit disappointed. It remind it me of Jura 10, which I'm not too fond of. But, after decanting for 24 hours and been opened for a week or so, it has drastically transformed. I'm emphasizing transformed here. Like Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hide. For the veteran whisky drinkers this could be uneventful, but for someone just getting into the game, this could possibly be the quintessential starter Speysider!

Well, I got to be honest with you. I really don't like Glenffidich. Having said that, If there would be one I consider over The Dalmore 12 would be Glenlivet 12 or the clean non-Smokey Glengoyne 12. But, as I remember, The Dalmore was a pretty darn easy dram.

Thanks for the tip. Havent been seing the Dalmore on shelves lately maybe that's why I forgot about it. Ill hunt for a nice bottle soon .cheers!


Review based on a bottle opened over a year ago, and about 3/4 full. Drunk straight.

Nose: Definitely sweet, cookies and burnt caramel. There is an under-current of red fruits from the sherry input. It's quite nice. I can't remember any whisky ever smelling anything resembling this.

Taste: Pretty light, I guess that's what you get for 40% alcohol. Red fruits dominate here, as expected from a sherried scotch. It is also on the sweeter, maltier side.

Finish: That's where the Dalmore falls flat. It starts nicely, with red fruits dominating again, but they wash away pretty quickly. What is left afterwards is rather unpleasant: a metallic, sulfuric aftertaste that sticks to the tongue and mouth.

Balance: The aftertaste just spoils what would otherwise be a fine and easy drinking scotch. It is quite possible that this is a bad batch, but I can only review the whisky that is in front of me. Now, if you would excuse me, I have to get a glass of water to wash it away.

Actually, the best buy for sherried whisky is the Glenfarclas 105. It costs about 50% more, but has a 50% higher ABV. Just pour a half dram and add the same amount of water and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Really good stuff! It really needs to be highly diluted though. It also improves greatly with air. I left a nearly empty bottle in the back of my cabinet for a year. I thought it would have gone flat, but instead it was wonderful. Also, see Ralfy's recent review of it. He hits it on the head.

I had a bottle a couple of years ago and wasn't impressed. The 15 is a definite improvement and a regular buy for me, but more expensive. The Glenfarclas 12 was much better and the Aberlour 12 was also better, if you are looking for a similarly priced sherried scotch.


At first, I'll admit I wasn't too impressed by the 12yo Dalmore. I could easily admit that I put Dalmore right there with Macallan as smooth overpriced snobbish brands. More than once I called the 12yo an overall bore. But now that I got a bottle of the 12yo as a gift, I must admit that I find myself having a tiny sip almost every day of the week. It is just such an accessible whisky, soft and smooth. So is there more than meets the eye here?

Nose: Mostly malty notes, soft banana cream, sherry, cabernet sauvignon, a touch of chocolate, and faint hints of blackcurrant.

Mouth: Smooth body, dry and a little bitter on the palate, some spices like cloves, strips of leather, chocolate, tones of oranges, green malt and vanilla

Finish: fairly short and drying with notes of bitter oranges.

Like I said before in my Dalmore Cigar Malt review, maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way. Maybe its not in Dalmore's intent to create an conceptionally flavoured single malt. They just want to create a smooth enjoyable whisky that can be consumed at all occasions, preferably after a hard day's work. If so I have to congratulate them, well done guys.


I thought it was time for me to try another crowd divider of a malt. I was divided between the Dalmore 12 Year Old and the Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest and have subsequently chosen the former. The box, the bottle, everything about its' visual performance, even the obviously well E150-doctored appearance of the liquid, seems utter kitsch by my taste and opinion. It seems someone has tried a little too hard to impress. The tasting notes follow:

Nose: the typical sherried one. It says on the label of the bottle that (some part of it) it has been maturing in Oloroso casks, under the watchful eye of some Mr. Richard Paterson, the Master Distiller, so what else would you expect? Winey, elegant, non-pungent. Some pleasant oak. Nothing else specific on this nose. 12 Year Old. Sherried. A middle shelf-happy nose. A safe one. And I am saying this with a good attitude. A nose that meets the moderate expectations and does nothing to exceed them. I'd give the Dalmore 12 Years Old 21 points for its' not very complex, but still very strong, refined and pleasant bunch of scents.

You see, surprises come around in all shapes and sizes and are not only welcome ones. I have read about Dalmore 12 Year Old enough reviews to know it is a divider of a dram. Some don't like the nose (sauerkraut notes etc.) and others are resenting the finish. The taste, however is generally well perceived by the public. My impressions from the palate performance of this malt are rather good. No surprises here, and it is for the good. The body is thick, almost chewy. Very malty. Pleasant oakiness. Sherry. Toffee at the back end of the tongue. Dark chocolate. Sweetness all around, very balanced alcohol burn, felt at as little as the 40%ABV that it's bottled at. Good job! The smoothness is expected and it is there for you. All in all, nothing to add, nothing to subtract. Nothing exceptional (unlike some members of the Glenfarclas family tree, alas) and nothing repulsive. Sound 22 in this department.

One would expect the finish of this dram to be like the nose and the palate: an elegant and rounded finale of a very good dram. But here is where the thin red line of this dram snaps and where Dalmore 12 Year Old falls short. The finish is rather short and two-layered. The first layer is the OK one: the sweet and sour notes, like dark chocolate and lime, well woven together. But it lasts a few seconds and is hard to hold on to. The sauerkraut feeling kicks in shortly afterwards, which is down to the sulphur. Ah, here it is, after all. Burnt ashes from rotten wood "dovetailing" with it. Bitter aftertaste, unpleasantly hot and biting the sides of the tongue. Good god! Luckily it ends quickly, leaving some feeling of rotten flesh, which doesn't last long as well. Let me put it into perspective: it is not the worst finish in the world, for I've had a lot worse (Glen Elgin 12 YO springing to mind to haunt me), but it's just plainly disappointing, after the... let's say "professionally crafted" aroma and taste. A big kick in the teeth, that comes unexpected and unsolicited. I can only give it 16 for the finish, and there's a solid benefit of the doubt given in this number, mind!

Now, this is not the cheapest dram. It isn't expensive as well, it is a reasonably priced one, but with a finish like this it could do with a tad lower price tag in order to make one's "Bang For One's Buck" list. The bottle design is kitschy, as I've stated. The overall impression is of something doctored, something premeditated, trying to leave some things well hidden, in order a good impression to be made, but in vain.

So, Dalmore 12 Year Old is an interesting piece of work. It seems that it aims high, but falls somewhat short. The nose and palate are very good, although not very complex, but the finish bitterly disappoints. One good thing I can say for this malt is that it is a very good digestive after dinner dram. It's versatile in a way. It has many faces and the finish for me personally is not the biggest factor when judging on my dram. So 20 points for complexity and overall impression is a justified number.

Thus Dalmore 12 Year Old ends with 79 points in my book which means only one thing: a generally decent dram that only the future will decide on, but I cannot strongly recommend it nor drink it for the time being. It will just stay on the shelf waiting for a better day.


I love the 12 point stag on the bottle. It appeals to me and looks great. It's been on my "to try" list for ages but you know how it is... So many bottles, so little time...

The nose is a bit odd. It doesn't scream drink me. It's musty, strong sense of raisins and dark fruits. I also get a strong sense of (believe it or not) pancake batter. Not bad but it's a little bit weird.

The flavour is better than the nose. Rich, raisins, sherry and vanilla.

The finish is medium to long with sweet raisins an spicy tang.

Verdict. Worth the wait and I'm glad I still have half of the bottle left.

I found Dalmore 12 hard to take on both the nose and the palate. You're right: the musk is there, as if it's been mouldering in a closet for a couple of years. One liquor store clerk saw the malt mania in my eyes and dragged me to a back room for a taste of Dalmore 18. It was completely different, very sweet like some kind of cherry cordial.

Frankly, for me, the best thing about Dalmore 12 is the stag on the bottle. There is too much coloring and the whisky is chill filtered. I have a bottle that has been sitting for quite some time and I don't believe I will be revisiting it anytime soon.


(I will translate my reviews very soon)

En nez de belles volutes de réglisse (licorice), pétrole (petroleum), genièvre (juniper tip) et pointe de chocolat (cacao). Très léger en bouche, ne s’impose pas et parfume les papilles de chaleur boisée (woody warmth), fruits rouges (red fruits), nèfle (medlar), racines (roots) un peu terreuses, musc (musk). Une fin aérienne, presque végétale et salée (salty).

Oui, le Dalmore 12 est souvent tres leger, de temps en temps trop leger. Merci pour la revue, Mesdames.


Super nose, wonderful taste with Mocha and marmalade nuances. Great thick malty mouthfeel. Wonderful Dalmore. Great bang for the buck too.


There are few drams of this price range which carry such a thick chewy malt. I think this dram has the texture of an 16 or 18 year old. A great nose with influences of toffee, dates and maple. Dollar for dollar a good bargain. One of my favourite highland malts.


For me, The Dalmore 12 has always been a whisky that I either love or hate a bit tricky one, or should I say that sometimes too easy? So, now I that poured a glass and thought that for the first time I could objectively review it, I'll do just that.

On the nose I get this warm Christmas eve's fireplace kinda feeling from the cinnamon, sherry and almonds I get from it. Mixed in there somewhere is a hint of citrus or maybe more rather some sweet fruits or berries that every once in a while combine to a very nice, soft toffee kind of scent. A little bit of smoke also lingers in there somewhere... I gotta say that the nose is brilliant, by far the best part of this whisky.

On the palate the magic wears off a little, not that complex and inviting anymore. The sherry pushes through first and then some nutty-marzipan flavours create this theme of Christmas cake that also continues to the finish.

The finish is not the best of this whisky, unfortunately. The soft and gently warming aromas turn a little tangy?

To describe it in a few words, it's a whisky that promises a lot at the beginning, falling a victim of it's wonderful nose. Still, in my opinion well worth buying!


I enjoyed a little series of tastings I had at my favorite bar. This, Glenlivet Nadurra, and Rittenhouse Rye 100 BiB.

Nose: Starting off with a big whiff of raisins, quite interesting to start off but understandable since half of this bottling is aged in sherry casks, the other half in ex-bourbon barrels. Orange notes, caramel, and tobacco round this off. Interesting, seems a little unorderly.

Body: With swirling, I noticed thin relatively quick moving legs down the glass.

Taste: Toasted barley/grains, toffee, slightly noted red fruits, cocoa/dark chocolate notes seem to gather in. Interesting, order seems to be coming together.

Finish: Medium length with drying notes of continued cocoa/dark chocolate. Orange notes try to flicker through.

Overall: An interesting drop. Not really my kind of whisky (yet I do enjoy sherry influences just not so much in this particular fashion.


This was another one ordered at the bar that almost impressed me enough to bring a bottle home. I amy taste it again one day to see if my opinion changes, but at this time I already have enough good ones in my cabinet. It is very smooth, almost like a Glenlivet 12 with more life.


I received the Dalmore King Alexander III for Christmas from my wife and wanted to try the range before I opened a power house whisky. So why not start with the 12 year old expression.

Nose has passion fruit, strawberries, cherries, liquorish, notes of faint salmon, small hints of citrus and vanilla, cherry pie, honey, a very sweet nose with no alcohol burn, faint apple juice

The taste of honey poured over cherries, hints of soft fresh oak barrels, smooth and refreshing, acts like a 15 year old whisky, the alcohol hits the tongue and then vanishes leaving the mouth fresh, floral and sweet. There is a slight syrupy finish with rose petals

Approaching the finish is smooth and sweet with no after burn; this dram leaves you wanting more. Is definitely an after dinner dessert dram

83 says it all


We’ve all experienced whiskies that evolve over time, but the Dalmore 12 year old gets my vote for the most radically changing single malt I’ve tried. There’s more development here than in the Beatles’ music, Muhammad Ali’s boxing style, women’s roles in society, or the continental drift. From a whisky I was once ready to write off as money wasted, it’s now one that I can appreciate as a decent, if not especially challenging, entry-level malt.

My impression of the first couple of drams from my bottle can be summed up on one word: wax. Often, a waxy element in whisky can be an oily, satisfying, mouth-coating experience. But my early acquaintance with Dalmore 12 was like drinking a melted candle. Many reviews don’t mention wax at all, so perhaps this was an example of the sui generis nature of my taste buds.

After a few months of languishing in the back of my whisky cabinet, I thought I’d give this stuff another chance, and I’m glad I did…sort of. I’d never rank the Dalmore 12 among my favorites, but it’s become something I can at least tolerate, even appreciate, if my palate is in an accommodating mood. It’s chill-filtered and caramel-colored to the extent that it’s more artificial than Michael Jackson’s face (and you know which Michael Jackson I mean), but I’ve resigned myself to such indignities when dealing with inexpensive, entry-level, 40% ABV malts.

Tasting notes based on a seven-month old bottle (black box, black label, not the newer red one), well below the halfway mark. (A good portion of the contents were wasted on a failed Solera experiment.)

Nose: Bland as your grandmother’s house dress, but with a few prize roses among the flower prints. Some fairly rich malt, citrus fruit, caramel, coffee with too much cream, and wet topsoil. It all blends together in a not-very-challenging mishmash, however, such that it’s more laid-back than a Perry Como ballad.

Palate: Arrival is a bit thin, but the development is not bad at all. Let it sit on the tongue for some nice sherry, caramel, spices, oranges, and chocolate. It’s thick and full-bodied at this stage, so give it a good chew.

The finish is little more than oak and wax. It’s of decent length, but the final aftertaste is cheap and concocted. A full minute after swallowing, I get something artificial that overwhelms my entire tongue, like Chinese food with way too much MSG. It’s tolerable, and that’s the highest praise I can afford it.

I don’t want to offend the esteemed and flamboyant Mr. Richard Paterson (a Connosr member, in case you didn’t know) by being overly critical of one of his whiskies. He might threaten to gouge my eyes out, after all. But I might politely suggest that he consider following the example of distilleries such as Deanston and Tobermory, whose reputations have been greatly enhanced by re-crafting their entry-level expressions by eliminating the e150 and chill filtering, and by upping the ABV to 46%. The Dalmore 12 in its current configuration doesn’t exactly encourage me to explore other entries in the Dalmore range.

Nice review! I got the same wax with mine in the beginning. To date I haven't experienced it with any other whisky. I wonder what's causing that.. and yes, very much a "chameleon" malt which changes dramatically over time.

A tough one to review.. an interesting experience, though.

@systemdown and @Victor -- thanks much for the kind words. Much agreed, Victor, on the last point. At $39, this one was worth it for the bottle alone. I may convert it into a desk lamp once I've finished it (which may take a long time).


The Dalmore 12 year old was very contradictory for me. Otherwise so pure and fresh but in the other hand, something that I detest. This is very delicate and smooth, might be the smoothest whisky I've ever tasted. And everything went very well until the first whiffs of marzipan came over and started to follow me everywhere.

If the marzipan would've stopped only at the nose, I could have given this a bigger score but it just kept on wondering at the very finish. And it was powerful.

Dalmore 12 was just like Barbra Streisand, who is sweet and talented actress. Very lovely to look at until she opens her mouth wide open and starts to sing. At that point it's literally "Goodbye Dolly!" for me.

Nose: Oranges and nutty chocolate comes very well but the marzipan starts to embrace you very powerfully even at this point.

Taste: Notes of citrus with sherry and caramel and of course the marzipan strikes through.

Finish: Very very smooth and seems like there's no afterburn at all. Oranges, plums and marzipan. And in the aftertaste the marzipan was the one that made me go: "I've had enough"

Balance: I know I'm annoyingly repeating myself but without the strong marzipan taste in all 3 steps this would've been an over 80 point whisky. Smooth with an almost unwhisky-like finish.

One weird thing about this that I noticed: it seems to lose it's flavor very quickly after opening the bottle. In 2-3 months all the strong flavors were gone. Has anyone else noticed the same, feel free to comment.

Really, you think Streisand is lovely to look at? To me, she's got a cross eyed horse-face. The media certainly treats her like royalty and acts as if she is cravenly beautiful, but then again the media is quite biased in America and plays favorites unabashedly. I always thought the sheer strength of her voice was her strongest quality, although its tone is not terribly inviting to the ear, and far from being my favorite voice of her generation by a long shot.

As for the marzipan note you are detecting, could it be the carmel additive you are tasting, i wonder? Mazipan can be a sickly sweet cloying almost "perfumy" flavor due to the almost paste and honey together. That marzipan residue is definitely in the 15 year (mine is 3/4 full in my cupboard right now), which I also can appreciate a little bit on the one hand and outright hate on the other. The hate hand wins, unfortunately. There is more to hate than to love, for sure, in the Dalmore 15.

I clearly chose the wrong words here :). I meant she's lovely to look at what comes to acting. A talented actress, not a beauty :). Thanks for giving me the chance to clear things.

That's why Dalmore 12 was easy to compare to Streisand (for me at least). Otherwise good but with a one flaw that is just too big for me...


Warm sweet fruity, malt arival followed by smooth medium length finish. The chill filtartion and added coloring can often cause this whisky to be overlooked, shame because it is a great introduction level whisky for beginners.

I have yet to try a Dalmore, though whisky anoraks do seem to keep an eye out for independent bottlings from this distillery as there is apparently some excellent malt buried under the excessive dilution, e150, and chill filtration.

I own a bottle of the Dalmore 15. It has the distinction of counting itself among the worst tasting bottles I've ever purchased. I've heard much better things about the 12, although it is usually explained as being deliciously two dimensional and "great for beginners." That doesn't make me want to run out and buy one, unless it is a gift for someone. A bottle of the 12 year is $60 in Oregon. Kind of steep for a beginner's bottle, at least to me. Thanks for your review.


The Dalmore is a Highland single malt. We sampled the 12 year old, which marked the first time sampling anything from this distillery. Its color is a dark copperish brown, but it tastes markedly lighter than it looks. Initially, hints of sweet maple are obvious. It melts smoothly as you drink it and turns into butterscotch. This is a delicious but simple single malt scotch. With a touch of water, this is possibly one of the smoothest scotches at this price range. A perfect place to start for someone who’s starting to look into the world of whiskey.

Outta curiosity did your 12 yr Dalmore come in the older black box, or the newer burgandy colored box?

Maybe it's just me, but this whisky reminds me of graham crackers on both the nose, and palate (with a faint hint of chocolate which makes me think of that of s'mores).

I wonder how much of a difference there is between the newer burgandy boxed 12 yr in comparison to the older black box version we see in the picture?

Maybe I should tackle this question head on myself; I do seem to recall a few stores out there that have the black boxed version...


Nose: This whisky is different! Soft and earthy with some sherry and sweetness; not a fresh fruity sweetness but rather the sweetness you would expect of a sweet sherry, toffee, syrup and honey. I can hold this whisky to my nose for some time, taking in its fragrance. Mushrooms and truffles reinforce the earthy tones.

Colour: Caramel with hints of brown. Taste: The sherry theme continues with the taste, which brings to the fore burnt toffee and a bitterness I would associate with caramelisation in cooking which browns sugar thereby giving it a distinct "burnt" flavour. I think it balances nicely with the sweetness.

Finish: Enjoyable and not overly powerful, but it does have a pleasing potency. The burnt toffee remains on my tongue, with some vanilla and syrup.

Overall: Very enjoyable! This whisky has a strength and potency that I have come to enjoy in whisky. It lacks the level of depth and complexity I enjoy exploring, but it is excellent value and I am keen to try the more premium whisky in the Dalmore family!

I add that I experience some kind of artificial flavour, which I cannot quite put my finger on.


Color: dark honey.

Nose: a bouquet of spiced sweets. I'm initially reminded of mulled wine and hot apple cider, with hints of brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Very fruity, with orange peels, raisins, and chocolate covered cherries in the mix. Just a very pleasing nose. I could breath this one forever.

Body: medium.

Palate: not at all what I expected from the nose. Not very sweet. Oaky with a hint of salt water taffy. Nice, but not terribly complex.

Finish: very warm and relatively long for what many would consider an entry level scotch. I taste dark chocolate and almonds.

I've read some of the reviews here and on other sites around the web, and it seems like everyone gets something different from the Dalmore 12-year. I just love the way this one smells, but the taste was kind of unremarkable to me. If this were a $30 bottle, I couldn't recommend it highly enough, but at $50 a bottle, I'd expect a little more complexity. Definitely one to try some time, if for no other reason than to add the gorgeous bottle to your collection, but I don't know if I'd reach for this one again, given the price point.

I found this bottle to be irritating in numerous ways. For instance the nose is quite lovely and I agree with the reviewer in that "I could breath this one forever". After the opening taste which matches the nose. It becomes very disappointing the initial taste withers and disappears leaving heat typical of cask strength scotch, but at 40% abv this is simply unacceptable. It also bothers me that it is quite apparent that caramel coloring was added. I feel the taste is disjointed as the finish is a distant almost unrelated cousin of the nose and opening. I believe this is a failed attempt at making a high end entry level scotch. The disjointed nature of this whiskey is possibly due to not spending enough time in the sherry cask. It almost tastes as though the sherry cask flavor is added at the end along with the caramel coloring. The bottom line, if your pallet is able to differentiate between the opening and the finish whilst keeping in mind the nose you are going to be unimpressed. That being said its easy to drink and is a great way to educate those who are new to scotch.

Based on varied impressions of others and what I have sampled of it, I have to think that Dalmore 12 has a lot of batch variation. Why else would some be so enthusiastic about it and others find it soooo bland? The several samples I have had from a single bottle of it taste just as you have said "...the taste was kind of unremarkable to me." Nothin' much there. Even for $ 30 I wouldn't want a bottle that tasted like the one I've shared with @JeffC. I'd rather pick up a decent blended Scotch I don't have yet, like the current batch of Famous Grouse Gold Reserve.

All of that said, another batch of Dalmore 12 from several years ago, or a year or two into the future might be a lot more interesting. These whiskies do often change and vary a lot over time.


This is my review of the Dalmore 12 year old , It is a wonderful single malt that I encourage everyone to try at least once.

I expect this malt is a big seller , The Scotsman newspaper wrote an article a few months back stating that many people buy malts based on the packaging in the store. The Dalmore has one of the most impressive package presentation out there , It has a classy bottle with an embossed 12 point stag head on it , Majestic and Royal its one bottle that looks good on any bar shelf or any collectors cabinet.

I must admit I first bought a bottle of this for the packaging, it was on a trip to Ottawa when I discovered this bottle as it is unavailable in my province of Newfoundland & Labrador. it was a good price at $60.00. I said " hey its new to me and if it doesn't stand out at least it looks good."

I truly love this malt , I think its the Oloroso that clinches it , It reminds me of the Olorosso you could find in older bottles of Bushmills Black Bush. I can not rekindle that unique taste in newer bottles of Bushmills BB but I can get it dolloping through in the Dalmore 12.

The Color is a Rich Mahogany as described by the distiller , typical with sherried malts such as HP or Macallan.

The Nose on this is great , deep rich , cherry wood , with old english leather , Rich Fruit drizzled in Port or Madeira.

The arrival is soft and syrupy juicy oak with oloroso sherry , reminds me of candied fruit , you get oranges , plums and dates , its jammy...

Then for the finish it turns dry with a hint of salt, pepper and soft vanilla bean , the Oloroso in the taste is still buzzing , juicy flavors follow through.

Its soft ,mellow, delicious and I usually want more , I started this review with one dram and i finished it pouring more and more in my glass to best describe it.

This is by no means the best whisky out there , nor would it ever come with such high expectations. I wish the ABV was a little higher to add that zing.

To me Dalmore 12 is one that I will always have in my cabinet. If you have never tried it , pick up a bottle you may be pleasantly surprised like me. Now if I could only afford those Dalmore Constellation expressions in duty free , Oh well , I'll stick to the 12.


A friend and fellow reviewer from Queensland and I have decided to start sending one another whisky samples. It's a cheap way to experience a wide range of the whisky world with quite a bit less risk of buying a bottle that you sit there and go "That's NASTY!" and helps you find the bottles and distillers that make you go "That's YUM!"

A week or so ago the samples that he sent to me arrived and made me happily giggle!

New whisky is ALWAYS fun to taste and try!

In his little care pack he'd sent me a Glen Scotia distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2009 by Gordon & Macphail, Dalmore 12 yr old, Suntory Hibbiki 17 yr old, Aberlour Abunadh batch 17 and a special mystery malt that very few people have ever got to try.

I'd already tasted the Glen Scotia which I really didn't care for and scored a 75 out of a 100.

For those who are new to whisky scoring and especially my reviews this might seem like a great score.

It's not.

That's a it's a decent whisky and I didn't regret the minutes of my life spent tasting it, but it's just decent.

Not brilliant.

Next on the list was a Dalmore 12 yr old.

I'd never tried Dalmore before and was interested in it as I'd heard many good things about the distillery.

Now as is normal at our house I tried this whisky while watching Masterchef Australia with my wife during the dinner hour. Generally speaking I try the whisky after eating, but I do spend most of dinner nosing the glencairn trying to pull what I can out of it.

Now this whisky is a Highland whisky, specifically a Northern Highland Single Malt.

Now Northern Highland single malts are often characterized by a light body and tend to be delicate whiskies with complex aromas and a dryish finish sometimes spicy, sometimes with a trace of salt.

I'd like to thank the fine folks at Singlemalt.com.au for that little blurb.

Now as my wife and I nose the glencairn the first thing she says to me is that she's getting earthy aromas.

On top of the earthy aromas we wind up getting hints of smoke, and some citrus aromas that my wife says are oranges, but I'm not 100% about.

It's an interesting nose and makes me eager to take a sip which I then happily do!

As I sip from the glencairn the first thing I taste is chocolate and oranges. Um I do believe my wife may have been right about the oranges (sorry babe). I then taste some sultanas and a wee bit of vanilla.

The finish wasn't very long and had just a wee bit of nuttiness and sultana at the end. Not bad, but nothing to get all excited about.

This whisky is an entry level malt and not too badly priced at around $80 AUS. Also at that price and being an entry level single malt whisky it seems to be a much better entry level then a few other whiskies that I can think of. I'll be talking about that more later.

Tomorrow it's Old Pulteney 12 yr old time! Another entry level Highland malt whisky.


Cheers for the positive comments guys, you're all too kind. I have some very nerdy ideas in store for the future to put this time-point data to good use. Regardless, I will continue to review in this fashion because I enjoy being thorough.

I'm glad that I'm not merely imagining the remarkable change in this whisky from first opening to merely a week later, let alone the further improvement up to the 1 month mark. I've had some whiskies that start to fade by 1 month! Once I have enough data I should be able to see a pattern to the improvement / degradation curve so that should be interesting. It's my time spent with scientists over the last several years that is driving me to do this probably - don't know whether to blame them or thank them!

Agreed Victor, System is an insanely thorough reviewer, which I love, because you know that if he says a whisky is good, it's good! It's not just good for that first dram and a week later crap. I just wish I could make myself be half as awesome. One day, one day!


The color is a very nice deep, dark amber thanks to the Oloroso sherry finish and I suspect the sherry is behind the thick dollopy legs that cascade down the side.

I find the nose quite complex with touches of honey, orange peel, cinnamon (maybe clove?), a faint wisp of oak and quite a strong presence of butterscotch toffee! It's very easy on the palate but I would have preferred a few percentage ABV points more than the 40% it has on offer. I found understated raisins and red apples initially and that gave way to toffee and barley in the middle. It ended rather quickly for my liking on a note of heathery dryness. But that quickly goes away. Three precise drops of water make it quite chewy and a full bodied affair. For some reason it makes it a tad dryer in the end as well. hhhmmm….

Overall this is a beautiful dram though I think the bottle is what I like best about it!

Should try Cigar Malt. I had a sample last weekend and it is way over the 12 yo!

Would be nice to find this at 43% or 46% abv... my taste buds aint responding to 40% abv these days... looks inviting though...


Colour is very dark brown with a tinge of red. Nose is similar to rum cake with a touch of yeasty-ness. Honey/mead flavours come to the fore and a very strong alcohol finish.

I agree with you on the colour and nose, and in fact it is quite pleasant and one of the most smooth nose I have experienced. The finish I found very masked, i.e. very little alcohol wich is opposite what you are sensing. Well this is what gives that all those brands are on the marked, one mans trash is another mans gold :)

When I first opened my 1st bottle I can honestly say I wasn't a fan but it really opened up(mellows)after a few weeks. Now I have to say it one of my favorites a buy when I head into the states.


Nose: Musky with notes of soil, grass, oranges and a butterscotch sweetness. A hint of salt and subtle notes of wood and spice. Delicious complexity.

Palate: Gentle smokiness with flavours of citrus and vanilla. Scrumptious sherry influence and a fairly well balanced dram with both an initial sweetness and a spicy/peppery quality. Wonderful sherry influence.

This was one of the first drams I ever had when I started getting in to whisky, and I love it. Value for money not bad at around £35 and I would definitely recommend picking up a bottle.


This is one of those bottles where the packaging grabs you straight away. Style over substance? Thankfully not, but I can't help the feeling that it's not quite living up to expectation.

Appearance:Rich Amber hue

Nose: Initially quite volatile, but this blows off quickly to reveal fruitiness (fruit tingles) with a hint of smoke. There's a herbal, tobacco like aroma there too. Not too complex nor challenging and definitely improves with time in the glass

Palate: Initially sweet, with a slight tingle and a fairly noticeable bitterness (damn that caramel!!). There's the typical choc-orange Highland character there, but its a tad muted. There's an obvious nuttiness as well

Finish: Quite short, but there is a hint of pecan like rancio flavour (I assume from sherry maturation)

Conclusion: As the title suggests, good, but not great. I have to say that reputation preceded this one and I was expecting a whole lot more, but to be fair, it's an entry level bottling. It definitely improves with time in the glass, so give it time.


this was a christmas present I got. It's always a bit a risk, when family members or friends buy, with the best intentions, whisky or any other spirit for you. Fortunately this one is definitly worth the risk. The Dalmore is matured for 12 years. The producers says it's 50% sherry and 50% bourbon. I assume it's a "blend" of sherry and bourbon casks and not matured 6 years in bourbon and 6 sherry casks, but I'm not sure. If someone knows better, feel free to drop a comment.

I really like the Dalmore. you get something of both "worlds", sherry and bourbon.

So let's get started with the tasting-notes.

Nose: grassy notes and the scent of a hayfield. After that, some honey and vanilla, as well as fruity notes which I couldn't identify.

Taste: Similar to the nose with its honey, vanilla, hayland mixture. Additionaly a very interesting, rather intense taste of bitter orange, quite similar to cointreau a bitter orange liquor. Of course Dalmore is not as intense as cointreau.

Finish: nothing special, some cereal and malt. Interesting is the faint hint of smoke.


Having debilated for some time on this single malt I must report it's well the wait. Sherry Sherry Sherry. If this is your thing than look no further. Not the best value for money however this is a must for your shelf. Enjoy!


Though I am new at tasting Whisky, this one is one of my favorites.

Nose: Strong coffee and Christmas Cake. Sweet caramel mixed with citrus fills the room.

Taste: Like Mom's Christmas Cake. Nice evening spice. Hints of Chocolate and Caramel.

Finish: Smooth and warm. A bit of oranges.

I have this on my shelf - goes down very well when I have my monthly pipe or cigar!

I will have to try that! Is there a cigar you would recommend?


I enjoyed almost the entire bottle of The Dalmore 12 with a friend this weekend.

My single malt apéritif appetite is usually one good dram, maybe two - with a single digestif to finish the meal.

For some reason, the strong note of orange peel and the faint vanilla vibe made The Dalmore irresistible to both of us. After two nice drams each before dinner, we were ready to continue drinking it through the meal. Afterwards, we couldn't say no to a further dram or two. We almost emptied the bottle...

[and we weren't plastered - and we had no hangovers whatsoever the next morning - impressed!]

Also unusual: we drank the Dalmore neat all night. I typically like a little water or ice (opens up most of the single malts I like wonderfully).

We tried our first Dalmore neat, the next with water. The water accentuated the orange peel and spice notes, but took away too much of the deep 'ride' that was so addictive to the finish.

At under $50 USD, it's not a 'cheap' single malt per se, but considering how much fun we had with it, a great value.

And do yourself a favor... buy two bottles at a time!

Sounds good. I've had this one and the Dalmore 15yr. old on my list for a while. I think I will give the 12 a try based on your review.


This is the second of the four drams my wife bought me for Christmas (I'll be reviewing five, because the Talisker 18 I've reviewed previously, and the Glenfarclas 15 came with tasting bottles of the 21 and 25 year olds).

The nose is full of malt, orange zest, and notes of dried spices. There is a underlying hint of caramel sweetness, but it takes a number of seconds for it to become apparent. With a little water the spiciness fades, bringing to the fore a slightly earthy muskiness and a hint of the smell of old leather. Very pleasant.

The taste is crisp and mouth-watering. The orange zest provides a refreshing counterpoint to what is a creamy toffee tasting dram, with hints of the spice and old leather from the nose. Brilliantly balanced, and just complex enough to keep you interested without being overwhelming.

The finish is full of vanilla and toffee - it starts creamy and goes through velvety to silky with just a lingering hint of spiciness.

After a Christmas breakfast with my wife's family, and then Christmas lunch with mine, it is an excellent way to wind down the afternoon. It's a refreshing mix of sweet and savoury tastes, and works quite well on a Summer afternoon (which very much works for the Australian Christmas period - it's about 20 degrees Celsius here, so pleasantly warm). This isn't a top of the food-chain dram, but it is within spitting distance, and in the right conditions (ie Summer) would hit the spot better than most that are.

I also have to admit, that I very much admire the bottle the Dalmore comes in - very pretty.

In fact, it shows up with the right bottle in the thumbnail on the recent reviews page, just not here.

The one I have is the shorter wider bottle, with the antlers separate to the labelling.


This is the cream label Dalmore 12 Year Old I'm talking about, bottled in the mid-1990s. I tried this from a miniature. So this is the 'old' Dalmore 12.

On the nose, I sense malt, orange and sherry and a little spicy touch.

In the mouth, this lightly bodied dram is sherried, fruity and malty. A little hot, in fact.

The finish is medium and nutty.

(TWE now offers this miniature at 50% off, so give it a try)

Nice review! I agree...a little fruity, and a tad hot at the end. Cant make up my mind about this one. One of my friends likes this a lot...gave him a sample. In the end, I probably won't try to find another bottle. Not bad, but not my taste.


Nose: the smell is sharp and musky. There is a scent of soil and grass and a sweetness of butterscotch. Another sniff further into the drink revealed sea salt and slight vinegar throughout. There is also a note of burnt wood.

Body: On entering your mouth, the whisky is smooth/oily at the tip of the tongue and silky at the sides of the mouth. The whisky is harsher and lingers at the back of the mouth. Velvety

Palate: Oil first with bitterness and spice; the whisky has sweetness at the front of the mouth and spicy/peppery at the back, this is the texture and flavour that lingers the longest (and it does linger quite a while)

This is a very satifying whisky that gives something new each time you sip it

hmm... just realised i neglected to mention the sherry

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