Review: Dalmore 12 (Single Cask Nation)


As an epilogue to Single Cask Nation’s Whisky Jewbilee I’m reviewing the final sample that was generously provided by Jason Johnston-Yellin. If you didn’t get to go to the event, check out the recap here and be sure to go next year!

Dalmore has been producing whisky in Scotland’s Highland region since 1839. An opium trader established the distillery but later sold it to Clan MacKenzie in 1886. The MacKenzie family’s defining influence on the distillery is still evident to this day; the 12 point stag which adorns each bottle is taken from their family crest. In 1917 production was completely halted since the Royal Navy was using the warehouses to produce mines. Eventually the distillery regained control of their premises and continued making whisky in 1922. The distillery is currently owned and operated by a Scottish alcoholic beverage company named Whyte and Mackay who took over in 1960. Whyte and Mackay was obtained by United Breweries Group which is an Indian conglomerate. Despite all of the ownership changes, Dalmore has continued to produce some of the best most consistently excellent whisky from the Highland region.

Single Cask Nation’s Dalmore is 12 years old and aged in a refill bourbon barrel for twelve years before being finished in a Pedro Ximenez hogshead for 10 months. It was distilled in June 2000 and bottled in April 2013 at a surprisingly low cask strength of 46.1% ABV. The hogshead yielded 238 bottles of this spirit.

Tasting Notes

Nose: sweet brown sugar, floral, creamy vanilla, lovely, red cherries,

Mouth: oily quality, cherries, burst of red fruits, syrup, fig jam

Finish: long lingering, slightly spicy, extra warm, berries, sweetness lingers on tongue 10 minutes after

Score: 87/100

Verdict: This Dalmore has a lovely nose full of rich creamy vanilla, brown sugar and red cherries. If they made this scent into an air freshener I’d buy it and use it in my bathroom. On the tongue the spirit is indelibly light and easy to sip. The texture is oily and the dram has bursts of red fruits, fig jam and cherries. The long lingering finish is sweet, extra warm and slightly spicy. I swear the sweetness stayed on my tongue for more than 10 minutes after my final sip. It’s actually very similar in style to Hibiki 12 which is not a bad thing.. I’m surprised cask strength is only 46.1% ABV which is more typical of non chill filtered proprietary bottling. Other than that, I’d say this is a unique Dalmore and a very good one indeed.

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