Looking back at my notes from the last few years it seems that the overwhelming majority of expressions from silent distilleries that I have been lucky enough to sample have been from Elgin based independent bottler Gordon & McPhail.
This is the second review of a trio of expressions released as part of G&M’s Private Collection. Last months review of their 1982 St Magdalene found a subtly complex Lowlander.
What does this 50 year old silent Speysider have in store?
(There is a 1966, 53 year old Longmorn coming up in the next few weeks too, watch this space)
Dallas Dhu distillery is now a museum managed by Historic Scotland (although there have been rumours of it being reinstated as a working distillery been circulating for years) I visited it several years ago and really enjoyed looking around. There is an audio tour which is fine, although I really just enjoyed being able to get up close (and even inside) some of the distillation equipment – an experience you don’t often get at a working distillery.
If you are ever in the area it is worthwhile popping in.
On with the review…
Dallas Dhu, 1969 (50 y.o), 43.1% abv, IB, Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside, (press sample)
This expression was distilled on 10th June 1969 (a Tuesday if you are wondering) filled into a refill Sherry hogshead (cask number 1656) and thereafter bottled at 43.1% abv on 12th June 2019 (a Wednesday) with a yield of 176 bottles.
The nose is a miscellany of hardwoods mixed together with molasses, damp cigars, toffee apples, touches of charred meats, a light wisp of struck matches and soft distant esters.
The palate is initially full of lingering wood from the nose but moving onwards there is the emergence of some moist cake and a vague fruitiness giving the feeling of a (slightly caramelised) dutch apple cake, macadamia nuts, muscavado sugar and a touch of salted caramel and vanilla essence.
The finish carries the familiar wood that we have encountered throughout, mixed with butter, mahogany and a cedar / ginger interplay that dries the mouth. There is a faint and distant sweetness right at the finish with some more caramelised sugars and roasted coffee beans.
An intriguing dram and as ever it’s great to try a spot of liquid history. If I’m being a bit picky its perhaps a touch woody for my taste, reaching a little over the wood / spirit character balance.
The 1969 Dallas Dhu from Gordon & MacPhail is available now with an RRP of £6,950.