The Dalmore is literally, “the big meadowland”. The Dalmore Distillery is situated North of the traditional highlands, drawing its water from the Alness River, near the city of Inverness. The distillery sits on the Cromarty Firth which is an inlet from the North Sea, so it gets some maritime influence also. Please make way for the Dalmore 12 year old.
The Dalmore has come a long way. We first tried it nearly 5 years ago when it was first released in Australia. It was a really good whisky then with very contemporary packaging, and some nice sherry oak flavours. I am looking forward to understanding how the whisky has changed and can only hope it has kept pace with the marketing. In a very short space of time Dalmore has gained massive distribution and presumably sales in Australia which is as much a credit to the local distributors as it is to Dalmore’s marketing department. The first thing you learn in Marketing 101 is the 4 P’s, Price, Position, Place and PRODUCT. So lets see if the product supports the hoopla.
The true strength of the Dalmore 12 year old is the barrel arrangement with Gonzalez Byass (what an unfortunate name) who makes a beautiful 30 year old Matusalem Olorosso Sherry. Dalmore do the majority of their ageing in Bourbon barrels, then after 9 years they split out 50% of the spirit – finishing it for an additional 3 years in these wonderfully rich Matusalem Olorosso Sherry casks. The nose on the Dalmore 12 year old gives a promise of all the dried fruit that these sherry casks are renowned for. A big luscious highland pudding is the bait, but that promise is blown away by the crisp, clean and dry nature of the palate. A very interesting and unexpected combination.