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Dalmore 15 Year Old

Whisky Tasting with Cliff Barackman

0 583

RReview by @Rigmorole

30th Jun 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I had the chance to sit down with a good friend of mine to taste a few bottles that he brought back with him from Scotland. His name is Cliff Barackman (one of the cast members of the Animal Planet cable TV program called "Finding Bigfoot"). While in Scotland, he bought three bottles: Old Pulteney 12, Dalmore 15, and a rare bottling of the Spirit of Loch Ness whisky.

Cliff and I filmed a short little video, and then proceeded to analyze the Dalmore 15 in depth. Here are my tasting notes:

Color: Deep chestnut reddish brown.

Nose: Strong maple presence, along with brown sugar, orange Crush, and a whiff of leather.

Palate: The maple is gone, replaced by honey suckle, honey comb, bitter oak, a slight grassiness, and white pepper.

Finish: Medium. A bit more honey, hay, pepper, and a final presence of bitter oak that reminds one of orange peel.

Final notes: Not an overtly complex dram, per se, and there is a touch of cloying graininess in there which tends to detract from the overall taste experience. E150a perhaps? Well, it's hard to say for sure.

I thoroughly enjoyed sitting down with Cliff to sample his new treasures. The Old Pulteney 12 seemed far better than what I remember buying here in Oregon. It was smoother, and fresher, with a lovely swirling presence. Yes, the nose on the Dalmore was more dramatic, but I must say that I preferred the palate of the Old Pulteney.

As for that mysterious Spirit of Loch Ness whisky, it seemed a bit mercurial in the way it interacted with my palate. At times, it was just delicious, and then it seemed a bit stale. The overall impression was of a fairly sweet whisky and not terribly complex. This said, it was my girlfriend's favorite of the bunch. She liked it very much.

Cliff had specifically told the sales clerk at a store on the banks of Loch Ness that he wanted to buy whiskies unavailable in the United States. I'm not terribly impressed with that clerk for steering him towards Dalmore 15 and especially towards Old Pulteney 12, which is fairly common in the States, particularly in Oregon. Any whisky seller worth his salt would know that OP 12 is readily available stateside. This said, it certainly was a far better version of that whisky than what I have tasted here.

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Taco commented

Hmmm! Your description is very different from what I found. I have had 3 different bottlings of this over the last 3 or 4 years and all were dominated by dark, almost overripe fruit. I did have to allow each to air out for 2-3 months to let them settle and get rid of the slightly sulfurous note, especially on the nose, but once settled, I found them to be fairly consistent and quite good. I don't think they have E 150, as the intensity of the sherry components match the color, but I could be wrong. I didn't get maple or any grassiness either, but did note the brown sugar, brine and pepper. I hope they didn't change up the formula, but it sounds like yours had little to no sherry influence. Let it set for a month or two and check again. If its still as you describe, I wouldn't want to get another bottle either.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Seemed very sweet but not with much sherry. I realize it prob comes from a sherry cask but the nose was mapley and the pallet was sugary tasting with some bitterness

6 years ago 0

Taco commented

What is the date on your bottle? Doesn't sound like one I'd want to buy.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

It's not my bottle. Next time I'm at Cliff's, I will check

6 years ago 0

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