Established in 1839 and now owned by Whyte & Mackay, you’ll often see The Dalmore being marketed and praised by its Master Blender Richard Paterson. The Dalmore is a Highland distillery not that far south along the A9 from Glenmorangie. This is my first review of The Dalmore here on the site and I suppose I started out with quite a unique one. A tasting of The Dalmore King Alexander III is next on the list.
This limited Dalmore was a collaborative project between Paterson and Michelin-star chef Daniel Boulud. Quite the first of its kind in the Scotch realm, but there’s also been a similar project between Jefferson’s Bourbon and chef/author Ed Lee. If looking to make a new and interesting whisky, who better to collaborate with than one with quite the trained palate?
“I have always appreciated the craft of a fine whisky while growing up in Lyon, France,” says Chef Boulud. “In recent years, I started seeing an increase in the popularity of brown spirits, both in my restaurants and among food enthusiasts. I wanted to connect this appreciation of Scotch whisky and elevate the spirit to become an integral part of the fine dining experience, bringing a new, high-quality and very personal product to my customers.”
The selection process occurred over six months and three different visits to New York City by The Dalmore Master Distiller, Richard Paterson. Paterson first selected 10 whisky samples from The Dalmore distillery. Each sample had matured in a range of oak casks, previously filled with different wines and spirits ranging from Bordeaux wine barriques to 30 year old Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks.
Chef Boulud selected his three favorite samples – those aged in Muscatel, Madeira and Port wine casks. The final assemblage of these three casks was left to marry in upstanding sherry casks until it was finally bottled. Only 1,000 bottles of this limited release has been produced.
Price: Approx $200/750ml
Nose: Full of dried fruits and spice – Toffee, crushed walnut, salted orange chocolates, allspice, dried mango, fresh figs, apricot, Bourbon soaked cherries, raisins and honey roasted cashews.
Palate: Quite gentle and starts off with a light, dry and fruity sweetness then builds into lightly salted mixed nuts, orange marmalade, dried cherries and hints of mocha, clove and almond praline.
Finish: Moderate to long with dried fruit, cherries and lingering spices.
Overall this is a great Dalmore, and one I’d gladly sip on after a meal alongside a creamy dessert. The palate falls slightly short of the nose at first but quickly bounces back with a developing complexity. It has great body and a slightly oily mouthfeel that becomes drying as it moves into the finish. It’s also very approachable – Glad they decided to bottle this one a little higher than some of their other premium malts.