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Dalmore 15 Year Old

Barnyardy Bravado

0 475

RReview by @Rigmorole

10th Feb 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The nose, unfortunately, is the best part of this whisky: Espresso, forest loam on a wet spring day, dark chocolate, lightly burnt croissant, fine sherry with a woodiness coming through at the end.

I just purchased this bottle and boy am I disappointed. The owner of the liquor store highly recommended it. What a mistake.

The mouth feel is generous and the initial taste is marvelous, but it falls apart and leaves the tongue feeling acrid. Also, faintly in the backdrop of the palette, there is a faint "eau de toilette" of what day old urine smells like in a hot climate when you forget to shut the bathroom door and it begins to waft through the house. This faint hint of nastiness in the palette and finish did remind me of a summer spent in California when the general public was encouraged by the government to save water by not flushing unless absolutely necessary. Sorry to mention this heretofore lost memory, but hey, the faint hint of urine is there, and the memory resurfaced. No big deal, but not what you want to be drinking! Still, in all fairness, the barnyardy taste is certainly not prominent at all. Rather, it is faint enough to make you question your own judgement until you take another sip, and then notice that, yes, it is real, and it is there, unfortunately.

There is no cork spoilage in this bottle. It is just a disappointing whisky to me. If it was not for the "bardyardy" side of it, I would like it just fine.

Alas, I should have read the ratings on Whisky Connosr more carefully before buying. I set off for the liquor store expecting to buy the Cigar malt and let myself be talked out of it by the owner. He meant well, so I do not blame him. Most likely, the batches have gone downhill of late.

Five days earlier, I tasted the Dalmore Cigar Malt at the Highland Stillhouse and loved it, even though it was the whisky equivalent of a really good milkshake--kind of juvenile and fun loving in a carefree way. It seemed a little too sweet in a "manufactured" sense of the word, but I liked it enough to head out in search of some within five days of tasting it.

The price of the Cigar Malt was also a deterrent. In Oregon, the Cigar Malt costs $130 and the 15 costs $95. Neither bottle would be worth that price, in my opinion. I will never buy a bottle of Dalmore again. Oh well.

However, this said, I will keep this bottle forever. It is the coolest frickin whisky bottle I have ever owned by far, even if it, like the whisky, is a bit over the top and gimmicky.

If I could go back in time, I would have rather paid an extra $35 for the Cigar Malt. At least I would have avoided the barnyardy bravado, dark caramel color and all, that, to me, is Dalmore 15. I really did enjoy the Cigar Malt. It was, as they say, a guilty pleasure. Would I buy another glass of it at the Highland Stillhouse. I'm afraid so, and I probably will.

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WhiskyBee commented

@rigmorole, the one consistent thing I've read about Dalmore is that many of their expressions improve greatly with time. This proved true for me with the 12 yo, the only Dalmore in my cabinet. It was much better a few months after opening, although it's still far from a must-have favorite, and, like you, I doubt that I'll be purchasing any more Dalmores (unless a tasting sample convinces me otherwise).

Try it again in a few months and let us know what you think.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Well thank you for the tip, WhiskyBee. I appreciate it! In fact, I will follow your suggestion, and set this Dalmore aside, next to my 18 year HP, in order to let both of them age a bit in the bottle.

I now have an Argbeg U., Glenfarclas 10, Ardmore Traditional Cask, Arran Sherry Cask 12 Year, Black Bottle, and a few others to sip from.

Ironically, I opened the Dalmore for the same reason I opened the HP18: for something a little sweeter, more refined and sophisticated than the other non-Islays. The Arran is flat-out bitter by anyone's standards, but a nice splash of water helps a great deal.

The Farc 10 is shaping up with some air in the bottle, but it's nothing to write home about. The Ardbeg U is, of course, wonderful in its own way.

Tomorrow, I plan to pick up three bottles for my safe: Spice Tree, Peat Monster, and Laddie Ten.

Skal! I hope you are happy and well, WhiskyBee! Here's to your health!

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I'm learning to cope with the eau de toilette of this draft. If I let it sit in my cairn with a bit of water for about 45 minutes before sipping, it is not terrible. The bad aftertaste of urine is still there, but it's faint. I'm curious what others think of the Gran Reserva and 12 year. Regarding the Gran Reserva, is it a 12 year? Why the pompous title if it's only a 12? Dalmore's advertising gimmicks never cease to amaze me. This said, I still do enjoy the Cigar Malt a great deal.

8 years ago 0

Taco commented

Air really helps with the Dalmore 15. I wasn't sure I liked it, put it aside for 2-3 months, and now I find it much better. So much so I bought another the other day and plan to open soon to start "airing" it. Just did the same for a Balvenie 15 SB, which has an overpowering banana flavor when first opened. It helps most whiskies, in fact.

Definitely pick up Peat Monster, as it is great. You will get e smoky blast when first opened, but this mellow out quickly.

8 years ago 0

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