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Dalmore 12 Years Old

Dalmore distillery
Photo by Martin Kníže on Unsplash

The Dalmore distillery, founded in 1839 in a secluded area west of Invergordon just across the Cromarty Firth from Balblair, is know under the ownership of Whyte and Mackay.  Owned by the Mackenzies for a century, the bottle still bears a stag’s head — a key element of the family’s coat of arms.  Dalmore is known for their use of sherry casks; as such, whisky connoisseurs who enjoy The Macallan 12 Year or  Macallan Fine Oak 10 Year are sure to appreciate the rich flavours from the Dalmore’s offerings.

The official tasting notes listed on the whisky’s box are as follows:  Deep, golden mahogany in colour with orange, marmalade and aromatic spice on the nose.  Elegant and rich on the palate with concentrated citrus, Oloroso sherry with hints of sweet vanilla pod.  An aftertaste of great complexity.

Matured in 50% american white oak and 50% Oloroso sherry casks, the complexity of the sherry dominates, with the bourbon providing a nice balance.  The Dalmore 12 is rich in color, with a sweet sherry and orange peel on the nose.  Also on the nose is a hint of cream overlaying ripe fruit and burnt sugar.  With a very slight smokiness on the palate, the whisky has a sugary and sticky mouthfeel.  On the finish, toffee lingers with a hint of anise, staying for a considerable time before fading to a gentle heat.

This is a dram full of complexities and appeal, opening up even further with the addition of a few drops of water.  If your shelf is full of peat-monsters or light lowland whiskies, this is a fantastic bottle to add to the collection.  For those who enjoy sherried whiskies, this Dalmore must be ranked a must-try.  For the especially curious, see our review of the Dalmore 1990, bottled by Duncan Taylor.