Dalmore 15

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Dalmore 15, 40% ABV.

While it is always good to have some whisky at hand, there are times when it is particularly beneficial.  This is one of those moments, on a weekend where venturing outside is not advised due to the advancing ice storm.  The only question was which whisky I would pull out of the cabinet.  After some thought, I decided upon revisiting a Highland Scotch.  With a little exploration, I selected my bottle of Dalmore 15.

Dalmore 15 is a Highland single malt that is initially aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon casks, then is divided equally into each of three different sherry casks.  According to the Dalmore web site, the three types of sherry casks are Amoroso, Apostoles and Matusalem oloroso.  After three years, the whisky is merged again in a sherry butt for the finish.

Given both the origin and this aging process, it is not surprising that this whisky comes across rich and sweet on the nose.  The sherry comes on immediately.  As I take a second and third pass, I find a bit more nuance in the sweetness, bringing to mind raisins, plums, and a bit of a ginger-influenced spice.  On the palate, I initially find a rich, smooth, sweet sherry presentation.  There are elements of orange and raisin in the taste, and mid-palate brings some spicy notes, maybe a little nutmeg.  The sweet, rich, nature of this whisky carries into the finish.  The warmth on the finish is relatively short, perhaps reflecting in-part the lower ABV, with the sweet sherry mingling with some cinnamon and orange peel.

I think that this is a very fine whisky with a good balance of sweet and lightly-spiced sherry.  If you are a fan of the more sherried whisky, I would think that you would enjoy including a bottle of Dalmore 15 in your collection.   For my taste preferences, it is a bit more like a dessert whisky, an alternative to a nice after dinner port.

Two other observations.  First, the price on this whisky is reasonable for today’s market, giving one a better dram-per-dollar than for many with similar profiles.  Second, at 40% ABV, it will be more for those who find too much burn in standard 46% and higher cask-strength whisky.

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