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Dalmore 15 Year Old

Average score from 13 reviews and 48 ratings 83

Dalmore 15 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Dalmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 15 year old

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Dalmore 15 Year Old

So, Dalmore. Cool packaging. Big ole stag on the front, dark mahogany color. Very well presented. Probably my favorite bottle design. So, I'm expecting a big, manly dram. Yeah, no.

Nose: Caramel dominates the nose. Salted caramel, toffee, sugar, xmas spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

Palate: Quite sweet. The caramel backs off a bit, leaving a sweet array of brown sugar and xmas spices. Brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon. Nice and warming, but not much bite.

Body: Very thick and creamy. One of the thicker, richer whiskies I've tried.

Finish: Caramel comes back on the finish. Lingering and sweet.

Overall: This is an enjoyable, warming winter drink. A bit sweet, and I really, really, really wish they would bump this up to 45-50%. As far as scotch whisky goes, this drink is ironic to me. The experience doesn't match the expectations with the huge stag on the front. It's very sweet, and doesn't have much of a kick. I like it, but the marketing is misleading for me. I was expecting more of a manly oomph.

@casualtorture Dalmore 18yo at Hong Kong is a bargain? I heard a lot of people in Hong Kong flying to Taiwan to buy whiskies, since Hong Kong's liquor tax(over 30% ABV) is 100% and Taiwan only 2.5NTD for every one percent ABV per liter(70NTD for a bottle of 40% 0.7L whisky, about 2USD ). Dalmore 18 yo here is about 130USD or 870RMB now in the duty free shop.

So, my little advice is, come to Taiwan for a little holiday, and buy some good whisky if you are looking for real bargain.

@mystycreek the 18yo is only 1100HKD right now at the duty free store into Shenzhen (where you don't pay tax) and since the exchange rate has changed (100rmb=110hkd) Hong Kong really is a bargain. That's a 1liter bottle too. Not 70cl.


High hopes for one of my earliest purchases, and it was ok. Drawn to the unnaturally beautiful colour and nice packaging, my first few samples were candy, and caramel, and buttery. But that faded over a couple of months. Nice whisky, but not worth the price. And while I thought the initial flavor profile was for me, I simultaneously expanded my palate on other drams. This quickly proved that I was wrong about my preference.

I had the chance to sample the Dalmore 12 during the same time period. Same result. Nice whisky, but I won't return to it with my own money.

This was purchased during a road trip to the US. I SERIOUSLY would not touch Dalmore at Canadian prices. Not worth it.

I've found the Dalmore 12 yr to be nice - however a bit steep for $50 (can get the Glendronach 12 yr, or the Aberlour 12 yr Non-Chill Filter for the same price).

At the same store I can get the Aberlour A'bunadh batch #49 for $63, and the lone bottle of 15 yr Dalmore collects dust at $79.

It seems hit/miss with these Dalmores; either you love'em, or they're just ok...I'm more of the later, and for their pricing - there's better value out there.

Agreed. Better quality out there and better pricing. Glendronach 12, Glenfarclas 105 and A'bunadh are all great, and amazing value by comparison.


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.

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.

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


Dalmore Distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson, who then sold it to the the Mackenzie Bros. in 1891. They were very actively involved, making their family motto the Dalmore's ("I shine, not burn") and using the stag-head of their coat-of-arms as the Dalmore's official crest. Blender Whyte & Mackay bought the distillery in 1960 and it is now the company's flagship malt, personified by Whyte & Mackay Master Blender (and Master Showman) Richard Paterson.

The Dalmore 15 spends its first twelve years in American oak; then one third goes into Matusalem sherry butts, a third into Apostoles sherry, and a third into amoroso sherry. They spend three years in these casks, then are married together for another 3-4 months.

The colour is a deep reddish gold. On the nose, blood orange, marmalade, prunes (which I'm not crazy about) - there is huge wood influence here. Lots of vanilla in the background, but the fruity sherry notes dominate. Spice and mint. Very rich, but a little off for me. Water brings out the malt that is otherwise dominated by the sherry wood.

On the palate, rather creamy with more orange, cinnamon and cloves, mocha, ginger and a little rum-raisin. Rich and flavourful. Water improves things a little bit more with added malt and spice.

The finish is warming with lighter orange notes, softer spices and some lingering caramel and vanilla. If you love your sherried whiskies, this one's for you. Myself, I find it a bit too much, and for me there are off-notes I cannot put my finger on. It's not that it's sulphurous, it's just…well, maybe too sherried for me, that's all. I prefer the 12 year old, and also the King Alexander III (named after the king whose life was saved from stag attack by that Mackenzie clan, in 1263). I generally find Dalmore to be a creamy, silky spirit that is pulverized by their wood finishes. Perhaps I'm a little biased too - I find Paterson immensely annoying (and overrated) and those ultra-premium luxury bottlings of theirs are so over-the-top pretentious they approach self-parody.


Typical of a Dalmore with a dark hue. Thick malty nose with hints of Orange and chocolate. A thick chewy taste with a more assertive toffee influence with floral notes as well as Licorice. A nice long Dalmore finish with that Dalmore malty character. Enjoyable.


I had always wanted to try the Dalmore 12 after reading the description on "master of malt" as being like "a warm coffee house in Seattle". I don't really drink coffee and have never been to Seattle, but it sounded too intriguing to pass up. So I ordered it at a whisky bar here in frozen Chicago, but they accidentally (?) brought me the Dalmore 15. So I had that!

The nose started out with a very subtle aroma of nuts and candy. But what I noticed after it sat for a while was unmistakably the smell of a sweet fruit-cake. A little bit of sherry, but compared to the Macallan my friend was drinking, hardly any. It was much more like a lightly spiced fruit cake (and I was excited to see after my tasting that the "master of malt" also describes the 15 as being like this!) It also had a light orange scent, almost like orange peel.

The palate was a little spicier/saltier than the nose let on. It wasn't so thick that I could call it creamy, but it had a little texture to it, maybe that of oiliness. The finish was only mildly spicy, pretty easy-going and nicely warming.

Very cool dram, perfect scotch to have with dessert.


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.

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!

@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.


This is a perfect whisky for a cold night. The nose is complex with ripe fruit (purple and red), brown sugar, vanilla, brine, and a hint of pepper. This continues into the palate. A small amount of water opens it up more (remember it is only 40%, so only a few drops!), revealing more of both its sherried nature and the vanilla, but becoming more creamy and satisfying. Wonderful dram! Now I can face the frigid weather outside!


This Dalmore is an official bottling from 2007 of a 15 Year Old with a wonderful dark, golden color. It matured on three types of sherry casks: matusalem, apostolos en amoroso.

The nose is amazingly complex and keeps developing in the glass. Nosing this whisky is a nice half hour pastime, believe me. Milk chocolate with orange filling, dried figs, toffee, espresso, sugar cane, puff paste, maple syrup, caramel, almonds and a few drops of soya sauce. Soft spices: ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Some pear and pineapple, dipped in honey. Is that a trace of smoke I sense there? Great nose.

It tastes full and soft. Some citrus (oranges & co), immediately followed by coffee, chocolate and liquorice. Very zesty. Some nuts, again. The spices speak a little louder now.

The finish is slightly smoky (told you!), on nuts and vanilla. A little bit drying and – while long – much to short for my tastes.

This is a very good Dalmore, one of the best I’ve tried sof ar. It’s a serious step up from their classic 12 Year Old and better than the Gran Reserva. But why, oh why, didn’t they bottle this at 46% ABV? It would have made for a very powerful dram indeed. A big thank you to my Israëli friend Gal for the sample.

Excellent review. I used to think whisky tasted like soap until I thought, "I should try and get into it". My father likes the odd dram from time to time and for nostalgic reasons I started trying different types. I like to have one after dinner from time to time. I noticed this bottle on sale in my local supermarket and decided to try it. This is a lovely drop and my favourite at the moment. Thank you for the review.

I never read a review with such a complex nose/many nosing tags. But I can definitely agree with you. Tasted it yesterday the first time and I was impressed. Maybe it's the different casks. I don't know other whisky maturing in matusalem cask except the Dalmore Matusalem. And as far as I experienced I totally agree with you, a higher ABV would make this dram crazy good.


Nose: You can tell it is fully 15 years of sherry maturation. grassy note also, but coffee, with nuts a hint of vanilla and some toffee also, pretty complex and quite enjoyable.

Mouth: Quite good, less grassy than expected from the nose, spices, toffee were the ones that popped to me

Finale: I would say between medium and long with spices and toffee and developing on chocolate notes.

A very good dram, but it does not come close to the Highland Park 18 in my opinion

I was all set to go find a bottle of Dalmore 15 based on this review, until you mentioned HP 18yr was better! I already have HP 18yr on my wishlist!


This Dalmore is entirely Sherry aged, vatted from three different types of sherry casks: Matusalem, Apostoles and Amoroso Sherry.

Nose: A bit of citrus, some grassy / floral notes , sherry with new cut grass . I dont recall getting those notes before, but it was shared by most of the forum.

Palate: Quite herbal. some Ginger, nuts, Chocolate and syrup all intermingled.

Finish : Long, herbal and some fruits, and vanilla on the very end. Nice, but not quite as nice as the next 18 year old we were about to taste is.


Having tasted this at the Whisky Show in London recently I thought it would be an ideal bottle to have in the house for the festive period.

I couldn't resist having a little dram to just to make sure it was as good as I remembered and I wasn't dissapointed.

This is an elegant and sophisticated drink with a sensational nose. Warm spices, orange, vanilla and hint of sweetness in this complex brandy like nose are a reward in themselves. I smelled it over and over before even thinking about tasting it.

And the palate doesn't dissapoint, its got all those flavours and the qualities of a good complex brandy but somehow even better as festive digestif. Instead of the grapiness of brandy it has an underlying gingery warmth you could only get from a whisky.

You can really taste the sherry casks, it lacks the medicinal flavours, saltiness or peatiness of some of my regular drams but that's exactly what I wanted.

My wife, who claims not to like whisky, was blown away by it. I didn't tell it was whisky before she tried. I know this is going to go down well at the Christmas table and I'm looking forward to introducing fine whisky to a few people who may think its not for them.

The only challenge is keeping the bottle (almost) full until the end of December!

Wow - added to my ever expanding wish-list.

Could not agree with you more on how good it goes down. You have to be careful. I drank 1/4 of the bottle by myself before I knew it.

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