Whisky Connosr

Dalmore Cigar Malt

Average score from 9 reviews and 23 ratings 80

Dalmore Cigar Malt

Product details

  • Brand: Dalmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%

Shop for this

What next?

  • Add to cabinet
  • Add to wish list
Dalmore Cigar Malt

A whisky that seems to split the whisky community in two: another love or hate dram. The 2012 re-release of the popular Cigar Malt, now called Cigar Malt Reserve got quite a lot of flak from the fans the old whisky.

Not sure what the history here is, why did Dalmore withdraw this whisky at the dawn of the NAS Single Malt? Was it simply because of the name and pressure from the anti-tobacco lobby? Anyhow popular outrage among the Dalmore crowd brought this whisky back from the death, but changed the recipe.

Maybe us whisky reviewers are just a bit too grumpy and unwilling to accept change. Or maybe there is some valid criticism here: the general consensus is that this whisky is maybe a tad too fabricated and the overabundance of caramel colouring is affecting the palate.

Nose: Sherry obviously, some citrussy notes: sugared lemon, notes of cherry snaps, chocolate and warm notes from the wood. Some slightly chemical undertones (some would call it artificial).

Mouth: Clean and smooth, overall superior notes of sherry, some subdued woody tones, hints of toffee and white chocolate.

Finish: surprisingly ever so slightly bitter and drying, but also zesty with a spicy edge in the tail.

Conclusion: Intensely smooth, a sherry monster without any rough edges, an easy sipper perfect in its simplicity,… blablabla. Its only sin might be that it is just a bit too boring. My educated guess is that the distillers were aiming for the perfectly balanced whisky, but by trying to do it all right, it turned into a whisky, that is simply a bit bland: no secret layers, no original flavours.

But still the better dram when compared to the 12yo entry level whisky, thumbs up.

@Pandemonium, It sounds inviting. A good friend gave me a 100 ml sample. I can't wait to try it, it smells fantastic.

Richard Paterson is the master blender for Dalmore. He has a knack for making well engineered whiskey. Paterson is trying to make a malt whiskey that goes well with a cigar. I'm not a cigar smoker so I won't be trying them together.


Warm fast steady arrival develops a balanced spicy / citrus middle followed by a fast flavorful finish.

This is one whisky with so much E150a added to it that I am sure I can taste the E150a and the artificial flavoring does not make the whisky any better, and rather make it less satisfying, kind of like a Starbucks coffee with too many sugary sweets added to it (caramel macchiato venti bosno bla bla bla)


After it was discontinued in 2009, the Cigar Malt was re-introduced by popular demand. How dare those Dalmore boys take away one of the best single malts ever made :-)

Well, it's been back for a while and is a firm favourite of the author and the whisky club I run in Dorset. So, here's a quick run down...

The 'new' Cigar malt is made with slightly older malt than its predecessor and therefore the price has gone up slightly - but it's well worth it. It is one of the special expressions in The Dalmore range and although the name suggest it should be paired with a fine cigar, as a non-cigar smoker I can tell you that you don't have to have a cigar with it.

It is a complex and classy act and suits those Christmas celebrations very well. I have a large Dalmore collection and this is my 'go to' Dalmore, provided warmth and comfort during those long dark evenings.

Nose: Caramel, coffe and chocolate. Very inviting and a delight just to sit there nosing for ages.

Mouthfill: Full but clean, hold it for as long as you can!

Palate: Toffee apples, sherry (not too much) and orange peel. Wow! Very smooth and warming. Like kissing an angel.

Finish: Medium long, zesty, spice comes through towards the end and leaves a fantastic taste in the mouth.

Overall, if you like Dalmore's, sherry finishes and the taste of Christmas - forget the Cigar (although I am told it's a perfect accompaniment), get this great malt and join thousands of others in appreciating a truly spectacular malt. It's beautifully presented in a smart red box, so also makes a perfect present.

In my opinion, one of the best Dalmore's out there without breaking the bank.

One of the best ever? 88 points?

Sure, not everything can get 98 points, depends on how hard you mark and what you gauge it against.


Nose (neat): overwhelmed at first, can't smell past the alcohol. After some air, ripe red cherries, vanilla, cinnamon, sugared lemon, wood, a hint of smoke, very pleasant.

Taste (neat): sweet at first, becoming sour and then tart with burnt wood, disappears into bitter dark chocolate and burnt leather.

Nose (water): somewhat subdued, less fruit, more soft leather and oak.

Taste (water): considerably thinner and less harsh with half a dozen drops. No fruit, just a hint of wood in the background. Comfortably bitter, like coffee beans.

I suspect that pairing this with a cigar or hookah would mask the "dirtier" burnt aspect of the malt, leaving only hints of the more pleasant flavors.

Cigar Malt is yet another gimmick from a distillery that overuses coloring and does not release craft bottlings with nonchillfiltering and good strengths. Makes me wonder why. Could it be that the whisky is really not that good and the gimmicks are a compensation for that fact? Perhaps. One thing is certain: Dalmore is overpriced for what it is.


I was not impressed with a generously large dram of Cigar Malt that I was served last night at Paddy's in Portland. The generosity of the dram impressed me, but the actual whisky did not.

E150 (artificial "carmel" coloring agent) in this dram last night was so strong in the glass that it ruined the whisky for me and even made me wonder if there was anything there to ruin. After all, if I'm not mistaken, the Cigar Malt is approximately 12 years old, and does not deserve the hyped up fanfare it has received as the "perfect" malt to drink while smoking a cigar.

Recently, I tasted traces of E150 in a glass of Bowmore Darkest. Well, I can confidently report to me that E150 was even more pronounced in the Dalmore. The flavor that I detected in both glasses in the past week was quite similar, and this leads me to believe that E150 can be tasted, especially when it is present in fairly high percentages as compared with other whiskies that use fake color (and flavor).

Considering that the Dalmore Cigar Malt costs $130 in Oregon, it is greatly overpriced, especially with the conspicuous presence of E150 in the bottle.

My verdict? E150 does indeed affect the palette and finish of both the Darkest and the Cigar Malt, but it is more pronounced in the Cigar Malt.

In all fairness, the nose of the Cigar Malt was very good indeed. Still, I wonder if I was smelling only the whisky or a bit of the coloring agent, as well? Who knows?

Nose: Artificially flavored caramel, Girl Scout shortbread cookies (which taste artificial to me with a chemical flavor), fine espresso, milk chocolate, and the presence of E150.

Palate: E150, burnt marshmellows, a bit of sherry, some dark chocolate, lake water, all spice.

Finish: E150, artificially flavored caramel, a touch of dried orange peel, pipe resin, toffee, wet musty oak leaves.

As for pairing this whisky with a cigar, I would not recommend it. Personally, I like a more refreshing and a less heavy whisky with a cigar, such as Glenfarclas 10 or 12 year, or Highland Park 12. The McTarnahan whisky (a 9.5 year Glenfarclas) is also quite nice. I certainly wouldn't pair a $130 bottle of scotch with a stogie, even if that bottle was worth $130, which the Cigar Malt is not.

Why waste a great whisky when you are coating your tongue with smoke that dulls your taste buds? This makes no sense to me. I can certainly see the value of drinking a fine scotch BEFORE smoking a cigar, but not during or immediately after. I suppose if you are well healed and rich, then anything goes. Me? I am a humble college professor. I can't throw away perfectly good money that way. It's against my nature.

When I smoke a cigar and drink a whisky, I always drink it on the rocks. Other than that, I rarely drink my whisky on the rocks. I like to drink Black Boss porter (from Poland) with cigars, as well. That is a nice pairing in my estimation.

I also recommend using a single oversized ice cube rather than smaller cubes that melt quickly. I think any whisky drinker who likes his whisky (any bottle over $30) on the rocks occasionally, should consider using the bigger cube or a whisky stone in lieu of standard sized ice cubes. At any rate, it's always a good idea to run warm water over the entire ice cube before putting it into a whisky glass. This removes freezer burn, which can add a nasty flavor to any drink. I put my cube in a large glass, run in the water, remove the cube and then put it in my whisky glass in a "fresh" state with the outer layer of contaminated ice stripped bare.

Interesting review. Quite scathing in regards to the colouration. I'm relatively new to breaking down whiskies, so forgive me if I sound like a noob, but I can't say I've ever really 'tasted' E150. I've certainly had my fair share of it before, but to be honest I probably wouldn't recognize it for being what it is. Supposedly it adds bitter notes to a whisky. Would you agree? In one of his reviews, Ralfy mentioned that the pre-existing character of a whisky goes a long way towards deciding whether or not the whisky can 'handle' it. Makes sense. But based on your notes here, I think I'll skip this one.

Sidenote: I came across this bottle in a local retailer. I looked it up when I got home. Apparently these guys have embraced the caramel colouring and taken it to a new level, intentionally overusing it to affect the flavour of the whisky. It's gimmicky, I know, and I have my doubts about how good it is, but I have to admit I'm curious...



Started out good and grew much better in time. Put a teaspoon of water in my glass after about fifteen minutes. Sipped it for over an hour. At about 30 minutes, the Dalmore opened up and blossomed with a deep, creamy, chocolaty, malty taste experience. The finish, while not overly long, was decadent and richly sweet. Mellowed and deepened sherry, toffee, and a presence of Ecuadorian chocolate and Stump Town coffee. I highly recommend this dram, especially on a cold winter's eve.

By the way, this Dalmore does have carmel coloring in it. Too bad. I always wonder if it's the carmel I'm tasting. I've heard that it's not very noticeable in the palate, but still, it makes me wonder. I wish bottlers would leave out the coloring. To me, it's like looking at swimsuit models with bleach blond hair, swollen lips filled with cologen, and bulging breast implants. Gross, gross, gross! I like to see the real color of the scotch, not some fake coloring. To me, fake coloring is like cheating. I'm tempted not to buy a bottle of this Dalmore, but I did find it downtown at one liquor store in Portland. I may buy it, or I may not. If I don't, it's because this 12 year scotch is so dark with coloring. If anyone from Dalmore is reading this comment, stop with all of the coloring in your whiskies. It's really lame and sad.


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.


Nose: Light smokiness. Chocolate and creamy orange

Taste: Smooth chocolate pudding and Christmas cake.

Finish: Sweet, long, chocolate and molasses.


Sadly no longer in production thanks to Whyte and Mackay's general buffonary this wonderful dram is one my personal favorites.

More of an after dinner sipper than for a session with friends the nose is all Christmas cake mix, you can really get the fruit rind and booze soaked currants, I can almost smell my grand parents drifting off in front a roaring fire after one too many glasses of sherry.

In the mouth it's all the same, lovely warm sherry, glacier cherries and a faint taste of smoked chocolate if such a thing exists, and if it doesn't why the hell not?

In a way I've moved on from lighter whiskies enjoying the heavier sherry Monsters and smoke filled beasts currently on the market but you can still often find me quietly having a moment with a Dalmore.

The Captain.

You can buy it, but it's pricey, it was first brought out for around the £35 mark but now, if you can find it, you're looking at £50+, I only don't have a bottle because I know I'd just neck it, my local whisky bar sells it so that keeps me happy.

You tell us it's Christmas in a glass and then mention it's out of production? You tease!

makes a note on her phone to seek it out

Popular Dalmore whiskies