When 2018 has started, I had a few new resolutions for the new year and one of those was related to the blog: To review in 2018 some of those beginners and entry level whiskies I tasted and had in the early stages of my whisky journey (and surely before I started this blog). Now we’re in early March and it’s time to gear up and do something about this.
So today I’ll be reviewing Dalmore 12 Year Old, a whisky I had many times in the past but not in the last few years, so I sourced a sample for the purpose of this review.
Dalmore 12 Year Old spends its first nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks. Then half of it is transferred to sherry casks for a three years maturation period (with the 2nd half staying in the ex-bourbon casks) before final vatting. The whisky is then bottled at 40%, probably chill filtered and with added caramel.
Let’s check it out and see how I feel about it after all those years.
Nose: Sweet sugar, caramel, toffee, nuts, dried fruit, wet (or very damp) wood, citrus whiffs muffled by artificial sweetness and the damp wood. After letting it rest in the glass for a while it’s slightly better and there are added sherry notes, milk chocolate and a better and stronger dried fruits note.
Palate: Sweet sugar and artificial sweetener, caramel, weak nuttiness, oak spices, bitterness of (damp and wet) oak turning to a bit unpleasant bitter note.
Finish: Short finish, lingering gentle bitterness, oak spices. Caramel and brown sugar sweetness.
Thoughts: Well, I can understand why in the early stage of my whisky journey I considered Dalmore 12 Year Old as a solid entry level sherried and rich whisky. However, now after all the whisky mileage I accumulated it’s now something I have difficulty to finish a single dram. The damp wood note along with the thinness of the whisky (due to ABV and filtration) and that artificial caramel sweetness just kills it for me. I’d like to taste it direct from the cask and compare it to the industrial and engineered Dalmore 12…