Whiskey Review: The Dalmore 12 Year Old - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: The Dalmore 12 Year Old

Dalmore 12 Year OldThe Dalmore is a highland single malt distillery with a history that goes all the way back to 1263, when the local clan chief saved King Alexander III of Scotland from a charging stag. As a reward, the grateful King did what kings do: he took a selfie with the local chief…ok, maybe not. (It was just a few years before selfies.) Instead, he granted the chief lands and the right to use the 12-pointed Royal Stag as the clan crest. This is where the iconic 12-pointed Royal Stag emblem that graces every bottle of The Dalmore dating back to the 1860s comes from.

The distillery itself was founded in 1839 by entrepreneur Alexander Matheson, and became the first malt whisky to be exported (to Australia) in 1870 (under different ownership, as Matheson had died by this point). During World War One, The Dalmore was largely taken over by the Royal Navy, which wanted to mine areas around the distillery.  After an explosion and fire destroyed most of the distillery, it was finally rebuilt after a long legal battle that made it all the way to the British House of Commons. Dalmore then resumed operations, and has not stopped production since.

The Dalmore 12 Year Old is the lowest aged stated bottle they produce. It is matured for nine years in American oak bourbon casks. Then, half of the whisky remains in the bourbon barrels, while the other is transferred to exclusive 30 year old Gonzalez Byass Matusalem Oloroso sherry butts before bringing the two back together.  The result? A very drinkable whisky!


Color: Deep amber

Nose: Heat, oak, faint orange, citrus sweetness

Palate: Smooth, the sea, vanilla, the Oloroso sherry really comes through

Finish: LONG! Very spicy, licorice

With water: Softens nose, more flavor surfaces in palate (orange). Shortens finish. Better with a few drops of water.

Score:  80


Color: Amber

Nose: I really get the oak from the bourbon barrel, light orange

Palate: Smoooooooth sweetness, spice, heat

Finish: Long, spicy

With water: Water takes away the heat in the nose and brings out the malt. It allows more flavor  to surface, with more orange & spice.

SCORE:  81


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