The Dalmore 18 year is not shy about Sherry, and we have waxed poetic on these pages about the pure orange citrus notes of Dalmore 12 and the savoury decadence of Dalmore Mackenzie. Bottled at 43%, and with a suggested retail of $150, the relatively new bottling of Dalmore 18 slots in nicely among the other offerings in their range. Which is to say, it feels like a product created from a desire to fill out slots in the range and not borne of a desire to exhibit a unique expression of the distillery. The base is aged 14 years in american oak then finished over 4 years in sherry casks, so you would expect a serious dose of sherried whisky. There’s only one way to find out if this is truly a worthy offering of carrying the iconic Stag moniker of the Dalmore.
While possessing the trademark orange zest and gingerbread aroma that is a highlight of all Dalmore whiskies, the 18 year posseses an interesting overtone of malted milk chocolate and pine trees. While the extra wood aging hasn’t lent a dustry dry tannin character to the flavour of the whisky, it has softened it to a point where it feels like it lacks some intesity. Overall before I added a drop of water it felt very disjointed. The water calmed things down and allowed some of the eucalyptus and fruity subtleties to come through more. Now to be fair, I tasted this beside the Dalmore Mackenzie, which gives a tasting experience much like getting punched in the face with a sherry pillow. The Dalmore 18 is a more interesting scotch than their 12 year, but it lacks the 12’s pure sherry soul. The prefect drink, then, for sherried scotch nerds.