Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old

Dalwhinnie Monday

2 591

@talexanderReview by @talexander

17th Apr 2018


Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Mondays are usually very hectic and, frankly, exhausting - but this was more so thanks to a mid-April ice storm. MID-APRIL. Anyhoo - I need a scotch.

The coldest distillery in Scotland, Dalwhinnie also claims to be the highest (though I think Braeval might be higher). It was founded in 1897, then purchased in 1905 by New York's Cook & Bernheimer, becoming the first US-owned Scottish distillery; since 1926 it's been part of DCL (now Diageo) and was one of the six Classic Malts in their range. Dalwhinnie is Gaelic for "meeting place" (Dail-coinneeamh) and still uses external wooden worm tubs.

The colour is a honeyed gold. Prickly malt on the nose with papaya, heather, milk chocolate and a hint of smoky peat. Lots of honey and vanilla. Citrusy with lemon curd and marmalade. Grassy. More peat and malt with water. Definitely "The Gentle Spirit" (as the label says) but also complex and lovely.

On the palate we have lighter honey, with vanilla bean, very light milk chocolate, a touch of peat and some white pepper. Thick, silky mouthfeel. A hint of caraway. Herbal with water. Sweet and dessert-y. A little punchier on the palate than on the nose, which brings me great pleasure.

The finish is long, wafting with sage, hot buttered toast and light caramel. Being one of those standard, ubiquitous Diageo malts, it's easy to forget how lovely this is. Very approachable and easy to drink, yet has the complexity to always keep you interested in what is going on in the glass. Definitely one of the best of the standard single malts out there, and a very nice finish to my soul-crushing Monday. Jim Murray scores this a whopping 95.

Related Dalwhinnie reviews


Hewie commented

Nice review. Dalwhinnie doesn't get a lot of love and is often cast as a beginners malt. I think it's got it's place though - and just yesterday I convinced a friend to buy a bottle as I'm sure she'll love it (she doesn't appreciate peat). I hope the rest of your week improves.

6 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

Nice review. I haven't tried this in many years. I scored it an A in Oct. 2011, the 4th meeting of my whisky club (we used to meet a few times a year then...) but I found my bottle became "stale" after a few months and in hindsight it was a little thin. Bad batch? poor tastebuds? both?

Worth another look after reading your notes, but I won't be rushing out to buy it.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

That's a glowing review, @talexander, and quite contrary to my own impressions which, admittedly, were based on a duty free litre purchased around 2008. Like @Nozinan I found it very nice in a pleasant unchallenging sort of way at first, but by the time I had got it down to its last third, which probably took the better part of a year, it was showing very few signs of life. Based on your as always trustworthy review, though, I may have to give this one another try.

6 years ago 0

talexander commented

@BlueNote Well, thanks for being so trusting! My bottle was opened on Rabbie Burns Day in January, and thought it was delicious then; I slowly drank it until I finally reviewed the very last dram left, last night. It was still as vibrant and complex as when I opened it three months ago. To each his own, something I might love may just be mediocre for others...

6 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

@talexander My palate is a lot more discerning than it was 10 years ago. I'll definitely give this one another try.


6 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in