In honour of the Clan Mackenzie, former owners of their distillery, the Dalmore has released Mackenzie, a limited edition run of 3000 bottles of Highland Malt aged 11 years in ex-bourbon and a further 6 years in port pipes. The Legend of Clan Mackenzie is immortalized in a painting by Benjamin West that is featured on the packaging – an ancestor of the clan bravely protects the king from being gored by a stag. Revenues from these limited bottles will go to the Clan in an effort to maintain their cultural presence in Scotland, ie. maitaining the Castle Leod. The Castle as well as the famous Mackenzie tartan can be seen below.
On the nose, the Dalmore Mackenzie gushes with spices, yeast, nut butter and dried fruit in a experience reminiscent of opening the front door of a bakery. The flavours are incredibly rich, echoing the cinnamon and nutmeg along with a creamy texture not unlike eggnog. However it is remarkable light on its feet and refreshing, and the flavours fill every corner of your mouth and carry right into the rich, long and lingering finish. A simply magnificent dram, sipping the Dalmore Mackenzie forces your mind to clear while you take in all that it has to offer. So often a wood finish like this can overwhelm the complexities of the whisky underneath but this marries wonderfully. I would almost call it sensual in nature. Granted, this is what you are paying for: a pure essence of port-finished scotch whisky.