You can say what you want about the slick marketing and the exclusive image that The Dalmore have created for themselves.
You can say what you want about their flamboyant master blender, Richard ‘The Nose’ Paterson.
You cannot, however, deny that they have found their own corner of the market and know exactly how to play to their strengths. From the large framed picture that greets you at the distillery to the 12 pointed stag that features prominently on their bottles everything is designed to give the product that unique and exclusive look and feel.
Putting this all aside, how does the whisky taste?
The Dalmore 15 year old, OB, 40% abv (available here)
This whisky spends 12 years in American oak bourbon casks before being finished in matusalem, apostoles and amoroso sherry casks.
The colour is very rich and dark, no secret that colouring has been added.
On the nose there is marmalade, winter spices, light aromas of tobacco and faint butterscotch. Zesty orange combines with raisins soaked in sweet tea and an essence of soft leather.
The finish leaves a gentle lingering aftertaste of orange infused dark chocolate, muscovado sugar, cloves and spice.
I can think of so many reasons that I shouldn’t like The Dalmore. It’s exclusivity, it’s slick marketing hype, the chill filtration and added colouring for a start.
I know this whisky isn’t a favourite amongst whisky purists and has attracted mixed (and polarising) reviews, however I can’t help but like it.
I may get some negative comments for this, but I just like it.