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.