It’s time for another post on those entry level classics I drank in the past before starting blogging. A few months ago we had a Dalwhinnie event at our local whisky club, going over the full official line up of the distillery, giving me a perfect opportunity to check out again the Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old after not tasting it for a while. But this time I’m going to spar it with a review of its younger sibling, the 2015 NAS variant Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold.
Dalwhinnie resides on the spot between the western highlands and Speyside regions. if you drive from the south to Inverness you can easily stop there (or see the distillery and the pagodas from the railroad if you’re on the train going north).
Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold was distilled in the Scottish winter (between October and March), when it’s cold so the whisky went through quicker condensation with less copper interaction, making the new make heavier. (Diageo offers to serve it from the freezer but I’ll stick to the regular method of tasting it at room temperature.)
Nose: Malty, sweet with gentle nuttiness, honeyed citrus with lots of oranges and mandarins, heavy and full bodied, cake-y and bread-y,
Palate: Malty, nutty like nuts bread,, honey, spicy, pepper, baking spices, cinnamon, oak spices, retains body and richness.
Finish: Medium length, lingering pepper and spices, walnuts, very creamy.
Nose: Lighter and fresher nose, there’s that bread-y note, but also lots of honey, pears and citrus.
Palate: Light and fresh, hint of grassiness, nuttiness, bread-y, malt, again pears and citrus and also pepper and oak spices.
Finish: Medium length, lingering gentle oak wood spices, slight nuttiness and honey sweetness.
Thoughts: Dalwhinnie 15 is a classic entry level whisky that still works. Even after all those years it’s still an enjoyable spring/summer whisky with that light and fresh profile. Winter’s Gold is definitely heavier and winter-y than the 15 year old with more malt notes and nuttiness. A nice refreshing variant but the 15 Year Old is the winner.