Bought this after being introduced to dalwhinnie 15 as one of my first "proper" single malts, to contribute starting my ongoing malt adventure.
I was very pleased at the time (2005) and would rate it a tad above 90 from memory. I then decided for my first purchase of Dalwhinnie, that i would try something different. Seeing that there isn't too many standard bottlings my eyes set on the Distillers Edition (DE).
First things first, this is a few years older than the 15 (obviously) but their seems to be younger stuff in here too, no doubt from the 15, but maybe some younger still, anywas this is all speculative. To the Tasting notes.
Nose: A fairly uneventfull sherry creeps in (oloroso) unassuming, followed by some ripe apple and pear/pear juice that then is replaced rather swiftly by some caco, malty biterness, with also some bitter tobacco albeit faint.
Taste: I must stress how dissapointed i was after the initial discovery of the 15, and what a good quality malt it was. Instead of a wonderfull honey complexity you get a "mellow" manuka honey with some sherry "tangy" dates. The developement can be spelled out by APPLES...and more apples. This is the slightly redeeming factor about this malt, you get the ripe apple from the nose here evolving into zesty red delicious apples then climaxing into a decent taste that can only be described as: Juicy Apple Pie. Some manuka honey exempts itself now and again with it.
But instead of continuing this decent devlopement, the Finish then goes all over the place with some clove, malty-cereal sugars and some slight oak bitterness. None of them asserts itself.
Wanted to like it as Dalwhinnie can be great, i would recommend the 15 standard heart-warmingly over this one, although the D.E has its moments, but ends up being quite uneventfull, boring and just a bit messy... shame.