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Some time back I was in a local convenience store when I spotted this on their liquor shelf. Being a bit of a cigar smoker I was intrigued. After doing some online research I was sad to find out that it had been recently discontinued (at the time) and replaced with the Gran Reserva. There was even a rumor that some employees at the distillery were quite upset at the 'rebranding'. It was very reasonably priced so I went back to the store and bought the 2nd to last bottle they had.
When I first opened and tried it there was an overwhelming burn of alcohol and citrus. Almost unbearable. I was worried about how long it was stored on that shelf. When I later tried it with a stogie that had gotten bitter the malt did do a good job of cleansing the palate but still had too much of a citrus burn. I decided to let it sit in the bottle for a while. After a few months it did smooth out some. These are my notes from then.
Nose: Lots of citrus (obviously). Lots of Orange, lemon, maybe even a hint of lime or grapefruit. Second smell shows something sweeter underneath, vanilla. A little water toned down orange and up the lemon.
Palate: Oily and mouth coating, rum-like sweetness, maybe caramel. There's a bit of richness to it but still drying, typical of the sherry influence. Orange makes an appearance too.
Finish: More bitter citrus (again) that lingers forever. A little water softens it and allows it to coat your throat. It gets more drying as it lingers on.
I'm not sure if it's just my palate or the bottle not being stored correctly in the store but I didn't like this. The potential was there and I have enjoyed other Dalmores before but the overpowering citrus ruined this for me. Adding some water did make a difference in softening the citrus burn but also seems to of transformed it from oranges to something else. That being said, I can see this working well as a palate cleanser for cigar smokers. If you can find some then it might be worth a try with a stogie.