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Before I begin with this review I would like to explain my method of scoring to put the total score in perspective with my personal opinion. 0-50 = 'To my disliking' 50-65 = 'Partially enjoyable' 65-80 = 'Very satisfying' 80-100 = 'Must have reserves!'
On with the review. I must admit that I had high hopes for the Dalwhinnie 15 year old, being one of the six 'Classic Malts of Scotland' marketed by Diageo. Not to mention reviews being generally favorable.
Nose: Initially I was hit with ethanol carrying an obvious Sweet honey and parmesan cheese. Unfortunately I find parmesan cheese off-putting and sickly. Not out to a good start. Searching harder I find citrus notes of madarin orange and some almost hidden floral notes.
Palate: Medium bodied. There is plenty of heat and spice, with heather honey being the dominant flavour.
Finish: The finish moves into tangy citrus with bitterness balanced by sweet honey and pepper that hangs on for a good length of time.
Adding a drop of water quickly diluted the nose but did help bring out some depth including almond, possibly from the oak? I also found after time in the glass the off-putting aromas faded and made it easier to enjoy the honey notes. Overall this is perfectly drinkable, saved somewhat by a decent finish, but I wouldn't rush out to buy another bottle.
Let me know your thoughts and I hope my interpretation is helpful to someone thinking about picking up a bottle.