Smoth’s Rating: 8.9/10
I’m never one to refuse scotch, especially when that scotch is promised to be a 15 year old single malt. So when my Aunt opted to bring me a sample of her recently-purchased The Dalmore 15, I enthusiastically accepted (thanks again Paulette!)
This Highland scotch is a relatively new offering, first hitting shelves in 2007. Aged in ex-sherry casks, I anticipated Dalmore 15 to bear the bold fruitiness of other sherried scotches I’ve tried like Macallan 12. I’m not adverse to the style, but sometimes I find it a tad overwhelming. I approached Dalmore 15 with a slight bias (my Aunt is a big fan), so that did help offset my trepidation. Thankfully, in this case my Aunt’s enthusiasm was well justified, as The Dalmore 15 ended up being a real treat.
The Dalmore 15 Tasting Notes
In a glass, The Dalmore 15 certainly looks nearly old enough to drive, with its rich brown-amber hue. The Dalmore is notorious for producing whisky bearing a distinctive orange note, and The Dalmore 15 does not disappoint. On the nose is rich orange zest, combined with soft, dry floral notes and a lush fruitiness which I expected from the time spent in sherry.
On the palate, The Dalmore 15 rises above many of its other sherry-casked kin with a depth and complexity I sometimes observe is absent. The orange noted on the nose plays center stage with a lovely sweet citrus. Providing a savoury backbone is a warm nuttiness and cereal taste (almost like a good English brown ale). The complexity is kicked up a notch with a touch of nutmeg and ginger (making this a good Christmas scotch). There is of course a sweet red fruitiness towards the end of the sip which reminds you from whence it came, but it’s far from overwhelming. The finish is very long, evoking the flavor of sweetened coffee and cream.
If that description isn’t enough to justify the rather high price of The Dalmore 15, I don’t know what is. It’s a complex and well balanced whisky that has a nice spiciness backing up its fruit and bread. Definitely a scotch to impress, and one you’re going to enjoy sipping slow.