The Dalmore Cigar Malt
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Sorry about yesterday. I really couldn't smell a thing, let alone breathe. Lousy way to start February, but so be it. Back in business!!!
The distillery is beautifully located in what I can say quite confidently is my favorite region, the Northern Highlands, north east, i suppose; north of Inverness (other whiskies from this area are Pulteney, Clynelish, Balblair, Glen Ord, Glenmorangie, Teaninich, and closed and/or demolished distilleries Glen Mhor, Ben Wyvis, and Brora). The distillery has a gorgeous view over the Cromarty Firth to the Black Isle.
The Mackenzie family, Dalmore distillery owners for over 100 years, were friends with Glasgow blenders James Whyte and Charles Mackay and became a big part of their Whyte&Mackay Blend and a component of Harrods own blends. Dalmore is believed to be the first whisky shipped to Australia in 1870.
The stills at Dalmore are among the most remarkable in the industry. The spirit stills (see picture below, r) have copper clad cooling jackets above the boiling pots to encourage refluxing and the making of a lighter spirit. One of these stills is from 1874. The wash stills (below, l) have unusual flat tops like at Pulteney.
About 85% of the whisky produced is aged in bourbon casks, the rest in sweet oloroso and amontillado, but is all married in sherry butts (source: Michael Jackson, MWC, 4th ed.)
This is a whisky that is often found on offer in the UK at Sainsbury's, Tesco, etc., and currently at The Whisky Exchange. I found a bottle when I was in the U.S. for $30.
Very together, a rounded ball of a smell. Madeira, oak, buttermilk pancakes, Sweet sticky-toffee pudding. Rum or some other white spirit.
Fat in the mouth, texture gives the impression of being like egg whites. Bitter sweet with orange peels and chocolate, vanilla and chewing on a tree branch. Very woody, like an artisan furniture maker on the side of the motorway.
Okay, to be fair, half way through nosing this I lost my sense of smell again. I had a chance to nose and taste before it went though, but usually it takes 3+ sets of impressions. So I re-tasted later and found nothing new to add. Take it or leave it, snotty.
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