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The 1263 from the name of this Dalmore refers to the year in which the Clan MacKenzie (later owners of the land on which the distillery was built) saved King Alexander III from being killed by a wild stag during a hunting party. Since then Dalmore has prominently and proudly displayed the stag in its logo. The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III is a vatting (oops, a blend – horrible) of whisky from 1990 until now and matured on no less than six different casks: bourbon, Madeira, Marsala, Port, Cabernet Sauvignon and Oloroso sherry. Knowing Dalmore, the bottle is pretty expensive: around 150 EUR.
The nose is soft, sweet and pretty grainy. A bit of oak. Quite some orangettes, faux-leahter, plums, berries, stone fruit, but also some grapefruit and fresh figs. Kiwi! Vanilla, caramel and a tiny bit of honey. Sound reasonably complex, but it is not. Not really. Know what I mean? Nice, but not devastatingly so.
The taste is very soft and bittersweet. Somewhat thin body, though. The fruit returns, although it is more a stew now (which is a good thing). But the tannins (or is that the wine cask) starts to play havoc on the palate. From the spice rack, I remember nutmeg and mint.
The long finish evolves from sweet (chocolate) and spicy (ginger) to bitter and drying and is the weakest part.
This whisky seems to be at a loss of where it is headed. Too many casks in the mix?