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Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old bottled 1980s

Average score from 33 reviews and 174 ratings 80

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old bottled 1980s

Product details

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

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Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old bottled 1980s

Blond. Nez: fruité. alcool. Boisé. Épicé. Cannelle. Bouche: léger et mince. Chaleur d'alcool. Vanille. Bois. Fruité. Pêche. Prune. Finale alcool et amère.


Jim Murray scored 95 and Ralfy 90, so I had some expectations for this one (even though I'm not usually on the same page with mr Murray).

I guess, being one of the highest distilleries in Scotland, isn't just marketing talk. Dalwhinnie 15 yrs has a crispy tone, even though I didn't feel any other marine qualities.

Matured in ex-bourbon casks, it is a very nice single malt. And big emphasis on the word malt here. Sugared barley dominates so much in this "not that well-known whisky", that I had to name it after "Sugar Man" Rodriguez.

Dalwhinnie is like that folk singer, both having only two products out there, which are good but not so distinguished. Well, I don't know if both Dalwhinnie's whiskies are good in their range, but I can only guess.

I didn't know it but I was Searching For Sugar Man and I found one – full of great barley.

Nose: Floral with honey and little bit of toffee. Barley is great in the nose! Water brings some pepper.

Taste: Tea and malt with crispy citrus. Sugared barley is strong and great.

Finish: Nuts and malt along with spices. Water makes it more bitter.

Balance: Non-complex, yet a good single malt. With malt being the keyword.


Colour: Light gold. Nose: Burning alcohol, flowers, citrus, grass, bubblegum Palate: Pretty much what I would expect from an entry level Speysider, a little fruit, citrus,caramel, slightly aggresive alcohol, had I tasted this blind I would have expected it to be more than 50% abv, bubblegum. Very faint smoke. Fairly thin mouthfeel. Finish: Furtunately quite short, along the lines of the above mentioned. Based on the rewievs I´d read about this, I wxpected this to be a fairly anonymus entry level single malt, that would be a cheap but not very interesting daily dram. This proved to be basically ehat I got, but the alcohol seemed quite agressive. Also the bubblegum was much more prominent that I would like it to be. It should be noted that this IS in fact fairly inexpensive, but I can still find several other whiskies in the same pricerange and style, that I would rather have, good examples would be Cragganmore 12 and Cardhu 12. I would however rather spend a Little more, and get something that I actually enjoy. Next time I shop for a daily dram in this style, I will certainly spend the Little extra some of Balvenies entry level versions cost.

Well I´m certainly not the right one to ask about the development of any whisky. Three years ago, I would have said that whisky was best enjoyed in a tumbler, with lots of ice. But seeing what others say about the Dalwhinnie 15, and how they rate it, I must admit that I found it rather disappointing. Right now I´m trying to finish off a Macallan select oak, which I´m not very impressed with, and which Serge of whiskyfun (Who I usually have great faith in) gave only 78 points, vs 82 to the Dalwhinnie, and I must say that although I don´t particulary like the Macallan, I find it much more enjoyable than the Dalwhinnie. I absolutely agree with Victor that in an ideal world it would be good, if somebody we trust would review each and every batch of anything. Obviously something like the a´bundath which is known for variability should be assesed for every batch, but more ordinary offerings such as the Dalwhinnie I think it would be wise just to check with regularly. Or in my case, I will just conclude that the Dalwhinnie is not particulary to my taste, and I will stay away from in the future, so I can drink something I enjoy more instead. But I must say that I found the Dalwhinnie disappointing, considering how others describe and rate it. Right now I´m trying to finish off a Macallan select oak, which is often rated lower that the Dalwhinnie, and although I´m not impressed whit hte Mac (Hence trying to finish it off), I much prefer it to the Dalwhinnie.

@cherylnifer, thanks much for your take on Dalwhinnie 15. It is hard around here to find people who can give perspective from 10 years ago.

I love that Jim Murray reassesses whiskies which he has previously evaluated, but it appears that the task has grown too large for one man. Really, all whiskies should be re-evaluated each and every year to keep track of the current batches coming onto the market. And whiskies with high idiocentricity and variability like Ardbeg Uigeadail, Ardbeg 10, or Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength, really do justify individual reviews of each and every batch.


Dalwhinnie distillery was built by investors John Grant, George Sellar and Alex Mackenzie in 1897 under the name of Strathspey and is located in Inverness-shire in the western Highlands. Production started in February 1898 but the owners soon met with financial difficulties that led to the distillery being sold to John Somerville & Co and A P Blyth & Sons in November of the same year. The new owners changed the name to Dalwhinnie and remained in charge until the distillery in 1905 was acquired by America’s largest distillers at the time, Cook & Bernheimer. In 1926 ownership was transferred to Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) and in 1930 to Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD). In 1934 Dalwhinnie was seriously damaged by a fire and it took four years until the distillery opened again. After that production went on uninterruptedly until 1986 when a complete refurbishing took place. Another refurbishment took place in 1992 and kept the distillery silent until 1995 when it was again reopened. The 15-year old is Dalwhinnie’s standard expression and became one of the selected six malt whiskies in United Distillers’ “Classic Malts” back in 1988.

The nose is fresh and grassy. Vanilla and honey are followed by touches of butter and cereal. At the end soft smoke creeps in.

The palate is medium-bodied, creamy and grassy. Vanilla and honey are back, now accompanied by hints of milk chocolate, cereal and wood smoke. Rather well balanced, I must say.

The finish is of medium length, grassy and malty.

This is a well balanced and refreshing yet somewhat unambitious single malt. While I like the smoky element on the fruity nose and palate, my overall impression is that this is an unassuming and gentle everyday dram, fitting to be recommended to people new to the world of single malt whisky.


This was among the first single malts I purchased when I began my whisky journey a few years ago. Why is it always a journey? It’s not like I’m Roald Amundsen navigating the Northwest Passage or anything. “Aimless, serendipitous tramping around” would be more to the point in my case. I just buy the stuff everyone else seems to like, or whatever Mr. Murray rated at 97, knowing that I’ll probably rate it ten points lower. In WhiskyLand, I suppose that’s a journey.

It somehow seemed fitting that I should write about one of my first single malts for my 70th review. It would be more appropriate to write about a 70-year-old Glenlivet, but that one’s under lock and key at my chateau in Loire Valley. So Dalwhinnie 15 it is. According to the scores in my cabinet, I thought this was 90-worthy once upon a time. That was about eight months removed from when I thought Johnnie Walker Black was classier than bowling under black light, so let’s see if that ranking holds now that I’m further along on that journey thing.

Dalwhinnie 15 yo is the “Honey Malt” or the “Gentle Spirit,” which most of the 396 Connosr members who own a bottle of this already know. It’s also known as a “Ladies’ Scotch” because it contains estrogen, but that may be just a rumor started by the Irish. Diageo denies it emphatically. Many “big-flavors” guys find it too light and insubstantial, but “complexity within its lightness” is supposed to be part of its charm. Let’s get down to cases and see if those charms are both endearing and enduring. This is my second bottle of Dalwhinnie (the first was consumed in a couple of months), down to slightly above the halfway mark. First dram I’ve tried in at least six months.

Nose: Flowers, honey, fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, corn flakes, and a slight trace of smoke. Pleasant, fresh, crisp, yet very, very light. “There is no there there,” as Gertrude Stein said, but her estrogen levels are none of my business. I think everything would disappear if I brought my Glencairn within ten feet of a water drop, so we’ll continue this journey neat.

Palate: It’s one-dimensional, but it’s a tasty dimension nonetheless. Honey and malt, to be sure, but what really impresses is the just about the cleanest and purest vanilla taste I’ve experienced with any whisky. There’s some itsy-bitsy (and only with Dalwhinnie can you use descriptors like “itsy-bitsy”) traces of grasses and grains that add some substance.

The finish is of medium length and very malty. A little peppery sting, and a whisper of peat, but not enough to offend those who don’t like peat.

It’s light and pleasant whisky that certainly has its place—say, before dinner or as a tasting-evening starter—but I’m not getting the hidden complexity that some (such as Mr. Murray) rave about. The good layers are too muted by the alcohol, and I think the solution would be more alcohol, if that makes sense. A higher ABV could prod the hidden stuff into the open. There’s nothing unpleasant, nothing that doesn’t work, only things that deserve to play a larger role.

(Review written with no offense intended towards any whisky drinker. I still use the term “whisky journey” frequently, and as a half-Irishman, I reserve the right to poke fun at my own kind. Gertrude Stein, however, is fair game.)

With Dalwhinnie 15 I sometimes wonder how it managed to stay so mild after 15 years in the wood. It would be interesting to see what it tastes like without any dilution.

Somehow, "itsy-bitsy" seems like a perfect descriptor to work into a Dalwhinnie 15 review. Some have famously referenced a note of "baby puke". I am very happy that I haven't noticed that particular note in Dalwhinnie 15. Nice review.

I loved the nose when I first tried it, but the palate never lived up to it. It's one of the ones I would turn down at a party.


After reading how this one is distilled in an isolated area in the forest, it sounded like a winner. I ordered one glass at the bar. Inoffensive, but also uneventful like a Glenlivet 12.

I had high hopes, but this one never deliverd. Thanks for the comment,

It's called the honey malt. I did like the nose on the bottle I was given. But the palate never delivered what the nose promised.


Dalwhinnie is a well known Whisky as it is classed a one of Diageo's "Classic Malts" range and flies the flag for their highland malts.

As I have mentioned in some previous reviews I am tickled by the trend of the distilleries promoting a unique fact about themselves. Things such as The oldest, tallest, most stills, first to have a one armed Venezuelan distillery manager, etc. In this case the Dalwhinnie distillery is the highest distillery in Scotland.

This review was done using a Glencairn and a drop of water. The colour is pale straw in the glass.

The nose offers promise of Apples, cut grass, fudge and floral notes.

It's interesting on the palate, soft, sweet, apples, pears and vanilla. The finish is medium long and malty with a hint of spice.

It is lovely, not a great but a solid drinkable dram that makes you want to go back for one more.


Bought this a few weeks ago after debating it for over a year. I'd always been curious and finally took the plunge.

Nose: Banana, Peat, Unripe Strawberries, Lemon Cake, Nutmeg, Honey

Palate: Bananas, light Peat, light Smoke, Wood Spice, Walnut, the Lemon Cake from the nose has turned into Lemon Meringue Pie.

Finish: Medium. Walnuts with the skins still on. A little Spice. Some Smoke. Slightest hint of Peat again.

I like this one. It was was better than I expected and there was a ton of sniffs and flavors going on. This is one that does everything good, not great, and that's ok.

This is the whisky that got me on my way as a connosr. lol Up until I tried this malt I had only experienced blends or perhaps a glenfiddich 12 or similar. It's a great starter whisky and one I continue to share with those who are just getting into single malts.

At first I found this one somewhat non-descript, but I soon got to appreciate its understated complexity. Definitely one to start newbies on. Inoffensive, but very good in a quite subtle way. I think your 85 is right on the money teebone.


I was served a glass in a pub a few nights ago. It was not exceptional, but with some air and a little water, it improved enough to be tolerable. The nose was the weakest link in the chain. I jokingly told my wife initially that it smelled like "puke in the woods." She smelled it and laughed, "Yes, it does. How disgusting."

This passed after about 20 minutes and yielded to much nicer scents. The taste was initially sour, like curdled milk. It improved a bit. The finish also improved enough to become creamy with some nicer malt flavors. I am not going to provide tasting notes on Dalwhinnie 15. It was not interesting or good enough to warrant taking notes in the bar.


I had read a few reviews on Dalwhinnie 15 and they seemed to be quite positive. So I picked it up on sale at my local liquor store on a whim. It wasn't something that I was overly excited about trying, but I did have some reasonably good expectations based on some passing online comments.

Before I start my review, I should say that this bottle has grown on me. Initially I found the flavours too sour for such a light whisky. When I first opened it, i found that the whisky (from nose to finish) had an element of vinegar or brine that put me off. Now, having drank more of it, and having opened the bottle over a month ago, I am starting to like this dram more. I don't know if my bottle in particular came from a "special" batch, but time seems to have smoothed out that wrinkle anyway, so moving on...

Nose is light. Vanilla, honey, heather, and some bitter lemon in there.

Palate is more revealing. More fruitiness shines through and I get a hit of green apple, banana, and butterscotch.

It finishes with honey and banana. Some faint spice lingers and there's a mild creaminess to it.

All in all, this isn't a bad dram for the price. As it is similarly priced to some other light drams of less character, I can't say it's not worth the money. But, there's more interesting whiskies out there for sure. I've come to prefer this one to some of my other lighter drams like The Glenlivet 12 (bought it for the gf). But there are better and more interesting "light" whiskies out there which are also reasonably priced, like Balvenie. Try it. Or don't. Not boring, but not a full-on standout within its range.

Ralfy gave the 15 year with the label that has a more cursive style font on it a "90" which is a high malt mark for him. I've seen this bottle in stores and been curious about it. Thanks to your review, and others on the Connosr, I will refrain from buying.

My bottle is also the cursive release. And yeah, I've seen Ralfy's review of this, and I have to say this is where our tastes differ. I usually agree with his whisky marks (give or take a few), but not here. I'm not saying it's a bad whisky. Just not the standout that I was hoping for based on what I'd heard. Worth a try though. It's very drinkable and well priced.


I decided to pick this bottle up as an easy, at-home dram on a total impulse. Pretty pleased with this!

Nose: This nose is soft, and good. Vanilla, cream, heather, with some frutiness... like banana and some light orchard undertones, like green apple. Pleasant.

Palate: Wow, there it is! Some fire, more cream, really pops on the tongue! I didn't expect that big of a personality. More cream, with honey, some more banana and apple, and it slips away to some smoldering smoke on the back. I like it!

Finish: Nice long finish, with some delightful spiciness that plays off the cream and fruit in an awesome way. This is pretty dang good. Lingering butterscotch.

Burp Banana cream! (You're welcome, Bliss.)

All in all, definitely a worthy bottle to have in the cabinet.

Haha the best part is that it was an accident. A burp came up and hit me with flavor, and then I laughed and remembered that you have used the burp method in a couple reviews. So I just HAD to include it.

Isn't*...technically...anymore...ish? I don't know. Haha.


Nose: Light and fresh. Lemon and orange peel, sweet tones arise and wrestle with the spirit which is barely noticeable. No heavy or pungent smell, very gentle and light. A pleasure to nose because it has complexity and many layers. I can keep my nose in this glass for a while! Do I now scent almond and vanilla? Pines and forests, trees and wood. This is brilliant!

Colour: A beautiful yellow with an orange tinge.

Taste: Smooth! A gentle citrus with strong orange and sweetness. Complex layers of citrus and wood vie for attention as almond and very delicate smoke. Very different to the peated Islay malts I have thoroughly enjoyed until now. Am I convert? Possibly!! I am reminded of my time in the mountains of Europe, sipping berry fruit tea spiked with brandy in a wooden lodge at an incredible height!

Finish: Fantastic! It is an absolute pleasure sipping on this dram. The flavour lingers on my tongue. It is gentle, and the warm glow travels down and remains. Lovely!

Overall: This is fantastic. Simply wonderful whisky. I enjoyed my peated whisky very much, but Dalwhinnie 15 brings my whisky tasting experience to an entirely new level and it displays the sheer diversity of whisky and the abundance of different flavours and expressions of whisky. This dram is unlike anything I have tasted, a very different experience for a drinker of Islay malts and Talisker.

I think Dalwhinnie 15 provides an important lesson for young or recent whisky tasters: peat and smoke are not the only characteristics of a good whisky. I think it pays to unpack the subtle layers in this dram, to appreciate it and sip it slowly.

It indeed seems that you are favoring gentle, delicate whiskies with lemon and orange. I like your reviews. Would be interested in your opinion about Glenkinchie 12 and Dalmore 12 as I see you got them in your storage.


Dalwhinnie 15 years old, a whisky from the highest distillery in Scotland does the box states. I’ve had this bottle for some time now and enjoyed every single dram coming out of it. Now the bottom is coming in sight and I enjoyed it I consider it a good moment to write a review to share my notes on this one with you. This is actually my first review.

Opening the bottle already makes my mouth watery with the first sweetness reaching my nose. In the glencairn the whisky looks fairly amber tinted, as with many, some caramel is added according to the bottle so that’s a mall downside.

Nosing the whisky gives me initially sweet notes; honeyed fruits and some vanilla. It is a sweet one this whisky, but as some time passes by a little spicy peppery note comes through as well. There are minor hints of smoke somewhere far in the back, which tends to stay there during the whole time.

The arrival of the whisky is smooth, very smooth and quite balanced. Fruity, citrus and honey tend to blend together during a quite sweet arrival which develops with some woody and light smoke tones in the background. Adding a little water takes some of the initial sweetness of the whisky away and brings out a bit the peppery note.

Towards the end the smoothness continues with its sweetness, almost sticking in the mouth as toffee with honey tones. Nice when you like some sweeter whisky with only minor complexities, which tends to relate to all the sweetness going on.

When the volume in the bottle goes down it settles down a bit more away from the sweetness it contains during the initial drams. I enjoyed this one because it’s so easily approachable. When I get the chance I certainly intent to get a new bottle somewhere in the future!


A rich, complex scent of sweetness, honey, vanilla, maple and chocolate. Very dessert-like.

As for its body, it certainly came out swinging, once that settled down, I found it to be lightly peaty, fruity and oak-y.

The finish was short, but tasty. A taste of toffee and wood lingered, but not for long.

Overall, I found it to be a nice complex whiskey, but the finish left a little to be desired.


My wife has been wondering what to get me for Christmas.

Should she buy me a nice bottle of whisky?

Should she just set aside some money for a nice bottle of whisky for when we get to Scotland?


Video games?

She had no real good ideas, and to be honest neither did I.

Until I received an email from Master of Malt. In this email they had a couple gift ideas, including a whisky calender that was comprised of 24 different whiskies, including a 50 year old whisky worth hundreds of dollars.


So I send my wife the email at which she calls out to me "Is this a hint to me?"


24 different samples of whiskies, I couldn't wait!

We order this whisky calender and then we wait.

And wait.

And wait some more on Customs.

All the while Master of Malt posts on Facebook each and every day a picture of the calenders, asking "What's in your calender today?"

And the responses, oh sweet jesus the responses.

I see people getting whiskies I've never even heard of, distilleries I've never tried, different ages, cask strengths, differ countries.

Oh I am so jealous!

Mind you I also see duds being posted, one guy in particular seemed to have a bad calender, but overall I'm left drooling.

As I wait.

And then finally one day the customs invoice arrives, I pay it immediately and 4 days later it appears.


My wife and I sit down that night and dinner and crack open the calender, I've got to see what mine contains!!

Oh sweet!

50 yrs olds, 30 yr olds, no age statements, cask strengths!


Actually such a score because out of the 24 whiskies in it I've only tried 5 of them before.

Even better two out of those five whiskies were tasted under less then ideal conditions (massive tumblers) so here was a chance to try it in ideal settings!

Not wanting to crack open anything I've never tried before this evening I decide to crack open one that I'd had and reviewed before.

Dalwhinnie 15 yr old.

So I crack the wax open and pour it into my glencairn and start nosing the whisky.

Honeyed flowers, citrus, toffee, apples and a hint of smoke after sitting in the glencairn for about twenty minutes.

This is when I decide to pull up my tasting notes on this bad boy, to see if it's at all different from the last time I'd had it.

Too my surprise I quickly discover that I've actually never reviewed this whisky, actually I've never tasted this one before...


Time to get back to the whisky!

Again a slight hint of smoke develops on the whisky's nose after about twenty minutes on top of the honeyed flowers, citrus, toffee and apples make this an enjoyable nose and makes me eager to take a sip.

The flavors are similar to the nose with the honeyed flowers, however after the honeyed flowers the palate comes into it's own with vanilla, pears and hints of cocoa.


A short finish with flowers, vanilla and pears ends this whisky.

Not a bad sample, and definitely not a bad whisky! Especially for roughly $60 AUS.

By no means is this a super whisky, however price per value it's pretty damn good.


is a nice dramm and one of the fruitiest. the nose is a bit strange, quite hard to identify everything in it, but after comes the taste wich is citrus-light , smooth, really easy to drink. i could say it is an ideal party drink as it is really easy drinking-but please don't mix it with coke..:))))))))))))))) it finishes a bit less than it begins..:D any way i would recommend it .


So thanks to the tax man i was able to purchase some whiskys to try/enjoy, these were Talisker 10yo, lagavulin 16yo, glenkinchie 12yo, cragganmore 12yr, dalwhinnie 15yo and highland park 12yo

First i tried the Talisker and really enjoyed it but know its time for the Dalwhinnie 15yo.

Nose: I get some honey and fruit, very sweet but smells good.

Taste: I get honey and vanilla, its very smooth

Finish: Nice and long with the honey and fruits coming back

I really like this one but there is something a little strange, when i go back to it, the taste it leaves in my mouth reminds me of creamy soda.

@McGrain, as a card-carrying "big flavours" kind of guy, I do understand that some would consider a subtle mild-mannered sort of whisky like Dalwhinnie 15 to be somewhat "un-whisky-like". That said, there are quite a few whisky-lovers who are able to enjoy a subtle delicate dram, just as they are able to revel in the unalloyed ecstatic bliss of a knock-me-down sort of intense beautiful whisky. I really think that there are all sorts of whisky lovers, some who like the subtle and beautiful, some who like the robust and even "extreme", some who like both. As to choice of this one or others for an introduction to whisky for non-whisky drinkers, it would depend entirely on the individual. I did a tasting a couple of months ago with two young-ish men inexperienced with whiskies, who, after about 20 different whisky samples, much preferred Ardbeg Uigeadail to all others. They may have been in the minority for a first tasting preference, but they were likely in the subset that I could identify right away as 'future whisky lovers'.

"a little strange" possibly= "baby puke" from some other Connosr comments. There are lovers and haters of Dalwhinnie 15. I am a lover.


Pale golden colour, maybe a touch towards chardonnay. Nose is a touch smokey and a touch of charcoal. Some citrus zest aromas. Herbal flavours abound, touch of chamomile. Very mild finish, but good length.


Nose: creamy custard, lots of honey, apple and pear fruitiness

Palate: grains covered in honey, slightly nutty and peppery, a sappy kind of flavour note

Finish: Sweet grains, almonds, lots of honey

Didn't really like this whisky, for its time of 15 years in the cask it didn't pick up much flavour. No offensive kind of notes here but then nothing really stands out ether.


My first review of a Dalwhinnie and the 15 year old expression I was after for a while. Finally managed a taste and it seems like I'll be sourcing a few more.

The nose is typical Highland complexities with a strange floral inclination. My first impression is lavender bath oils and touch of rose water. A subsequent nose confirms the presence of barley and then, just like a nostalgic surprise, comes the comforting smell of wet wood.

The palate is a tad dry as the oak makes it's presence felt. Then peeking from around the corner are the most delicious coffee beans I've ever had. This is all wrapped in swirls of honey. Honey that's been exposed to gentle smoke and infused with star anise.

Go out and get one now!

Dalwhinnie 15 often doesn't get a lot of love from the big flavours crowd, but I am with you. This is a lovely little whisky.


Nose: Fresh nose on this. Crisp candied apple, honeydew melon, rainwater and a bit of cedar.

Taste: The tagline for this whisky is "The Gentle Spirit" and with good reason. Smooth, measured arrival. No one particular taste takes the spotlight immediately. Sweet rainwater with a hint of cedar makes an appearance as the nose suggests. Then, unfortunately a slightly sour note appears for just a few moments... like, baby puke. Very odd. A nice mild, dry smokiness replaces that, thankfully.

Finish: Medium in length and again very mild, but pleasant nonetheless. Dry, and really nicely smokey developing into subtle sweet maltiness.

Summary: Nose and finish are more enjoyable and complex than the flavour. Not sure if the sour "baby puke" taste is typical of this whisky, or if it was just this bottle. Overall I'd say this is a decent whisky for someone new to scotch but there's not a lot of character here--pretty forgettable. Unfortunately it's the brief pukey characteristic that'll stick in my memory with this one.

I also had the baby puke experience tasting Dalwhinnie 15 years. Can't say it left a good impression on me! Actually did not post a review of it here, but it was the first time ever I actually disliked a single malt.

Reading plenty of good reviews of it makes me think you and I were unlucky though and I will give it another chance at some point.

I am very glad that I don't taste the baby puke with Dalwhinnie 15. If I did, I wouldn't come back again either.

This whisky gets both lovers and haters in large numbers, it seems. I am more in the lover's camp, though I can understand that 'big flavours' lovers tend to walk right by something this understated for something much larger. My strongest preference is for the big flavours, but I can enjoy the subtle stuff too.


My first whisky review. I feel giddy. Like a young child on Christmas Eve. Or a father on Christmas Eve in the knowledge the child has left Santa a dram...

By way of background, I've been a whisky drinker for about 10 years but a whisky lover for only a couple. It was always there at University at the end of a night, at a wedding for a toast or in my cupboard as a gift. But recently I've got serious. I've committed.

My first review, however, is a bottle that has been in my collection for a long while and only fumes remain, hence my desire to commit the experience to narrative before it’s too late.

Well then. On the nose it’s fresh. I get citrus, honey and overly ripe banana (potentially as this is an overly ripe whisky having bided its time in my cupboard for so long).

It’s light in the mouth. Very smooth, easy going. Brown sugar and vanilla cosy up. There's a simplicity to this which makes it so easy to drink.

The finish again is almost silky and to a lesser extent, sexy. And then those browning bananas come back to say "hi", just as the dram says "bye".

A great introduction to the world of whisky and, to a lesser extent, the world of whisky reviewing!


'The Gentle Spirit' says the label upon the bottle. I'm both intrigued and worried, for the (admittedly magnificent) 12 year old Glenkinchie I reviewed two weeks ago promised a delicate touch that was almost too subtle and refined for its own good. Now, in sprawling Victorian handwriting, the Dalwhinnie 15 year old is promising the same. This has to be a supreme balancing act on their part if they are to avoid disappointment.

The distillery is located deep in the Highlands, and is one of the coldest villages in the United Kingdom (summer temperatures rarely reach double figures, I'm assured). Nonetheless, the hardy villagers of Dalwhinnie need only this single malt by the fireplace and they'd soon be as warm as anywhere else. Even now, as I type, my chest has been soothed and warmed by nothing more than a small dram of this glorious liquid.

And as my glass is emptied, the Dalwhinnie's claim as 'The Gentle Spirit' now looks almost modest. It is a triumph; its nose, sweet, honeyed with a vanilla and smokey effect, becomes softer with every sniff (surely down to the Oloroso wood the whisky is stored in). The tongue is greeted by warm and smooth honey, with a hint of smoke and spice (which compliment the sweetness of the whisky perfectly). Heather and apple are just detectable, but no flavour overpowers the palate. The finish is long and delicate, with traces of almond, honey and heather.

I reviewed a 14 year old Oban recently, and scored that very highly. 'That', I thought, 'will surely be the best whisky I have for months.' Not, however, if the Dalwhinnie has its way. This is a whisky that should grace any cabinet.


Practically none of the highland's characteristic minerality. Notes of coconut, guava, pineapply, and spiced buckwheat honey


I had my first taste at Christmas, being new to whisky I found it very easy & smooth, it just seemed lovely in the mouth & realy enjoyable, the flavors are good, it's one for the armchair watching the sunset on a peaceful summers night.


A somewhat complex nose. The whisky slides onto the palette with ease, then politely shows it's colors. The immediate group of flavors doesn't last long and finishes with a sweet, fresh vegetal note. I think I prefer my Highland Park and Clynelish, but this stuff certainly is interesting. We'll see how it does over time.

I am with @jdcook on this one. I consider Dalwhinnie 15 to be a sweet subtle little jewel.

I think the Dalwhinnie 15 gets a bum rap sometimes, it's a very decent dram, and is worth having on the shelf!


I tried this one at a Robbie Burns club in Southern Alberta.

Nose: Refreshing fruit salad. Light floral aroma.

Taste: Light smoke and hint of honey, apple, pear.

Finish: More nutty and little sweet.


Nose: Honey, floral, fruit (pear?), faint peat. Average legs.

Palate: A fair bit going on. Honey and spice, then moderate white pepper tickles the tongue. Light body.

Finish: Less exciting than the palate. Light spice and straw. Fairly short.

I really liked the light pepper of this one. An interesting Highland dram.


Color : Light Gold

Nose: Very appetizing nose. Honey, heather, some fruit, very very light peat smoke.

Palate : Honey, some spice, vanilla, sweet fruit. At the ending a mild white pepper entry, quite a nice “twist” there towards the end which complements the sweet start.

Finish: Medium, very nice finish ending on the white pepper and spice.

The flavour profile noted in this review was closest to what I experienced last night when I tried this at a local restaurant. I didn't notice the smoke (though the dram was served in a rocks glass so that may have affected things slightly). I wanted to try this dram to build tasting experience, but I did not have high expectations for this product...and I wasn't disappointed. I agree with jdcook that without the pepper, this would be slightly boring. Definitely not worth the $80 CAN that I would have to fork over for a bottle.

Yeah, without the spicy pepper taste, it would be a little boring.


There are two groups of people, those who like the dalwhinnie 15, and think it's amazing (the Jim Murray club of followers) and some who claim its a good, but not exciting malt (The late Micheal Jackson Club , RIP) . Murray gives this malt 95 while MJ 76. A big difference. i set on to find where i stand when it comes to the Dalwhinnie:)

Nose: Heathery notes, with the weakest hint of smoke. faint smoke, don't expect a chimney here.

Palate: Honey heather, with mixed spice, vanilla and a peppery finish, that "stings" your tongue in a very charming way. adorable.

Finish: Long, spice and white pepper.not the Talisker style, but pleasing little pepper. love the finish here.

so where do i stand? somewhere in the middle i think. it's not a 95 point whisk. no ma'am. it ain't. but it's a fine dram, a perilously drinkable malt. i could easily go for a few drams of this, when sitting at home.

don't expect wonders, but it's a very good malt. lightly smokey, and spiced. extremely drinkable.

a dram I'd like at home.

@maltster, if you like delicate whiskies you can enjoy Dalwhinnie 15. It has quite a few detractors, who find it too understated, but in the right sort of "peering into a still pond" sort of mood, it is very beautiful.

Hi Galg! Thanks very much for this post!! It's a very helpful one that tunes my expectations very well. I noticed that there is no button on your profile page to invite you as a buddy. I would have done that otherwise, because your post do make the difference.


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