Dalmore 15 year is one of those whiskies that should come with a warning label: if you aren’t careful, you may just end up drinking too much of it! It is certainly an easy drink to enjoy, but it has value for the whisky connoisseur as well.
Released in 2007, the Dalmore 15 was aged in casks that formerly held Amoroso, Apostoles, and Matusalem sherries. This brings a sherry flavor, predictably, but also a hint of warm winter spices and citrus. Because Dalmore is known for consistent quality—it is considered one of the best distilleries in the Highland region, in fact—this whisky has become an instant classic. The distillery’s signature processes and equipment, combined with maturation in specially made oak casks, have created a reputation that precedes the whisky along with a smooth, enjoyable product. It is an essential part of a collector’s whisk cabinet, and it makes a great gift as well.
If there is one reason to criticize this whisky, it is for being a little too perfect. There is little peat or salt, and no medicinal flavors or ethanol burn. It is consistently warm and pleasant. Some people find that to be a bad thing, but we thought it was heavenly. It is easy to get lost in a Dalmore 15 year because there are no elements to bring you back down to Earth.
Here is a breakdown of why this scotch is so impeccable:
Nose: 23/25. You’ll love smelling this whisky, and indeed the nose is where it really shines. It has a perfume-like freshness that has citrus and chocolate undertones. It is a bright smell with a hint of depth, and just enough guile to make you want another whiff. It is hard to pull away from the smell due to its pleasant complexity and well-balanced potpourri of elements.
Palate: 22/25. If you have trouble identifying the taste and mouthfeel that experts call ‘syrupy’, this is a good whisky with which to explore the concept. There is a syrupy taste and texture that just seems to linger pleasantly. You can definitely taste the sherry from the casks, but it comes in the form of winter spices, ginger, and cocoa. There is a little citrus zest tartness and some wood as well.
Finish: 23/25. The finish is as smoky, dark, and mysterious as a speakeasy. This is where the malt becomes most apparent, and a little coffee flavor is present as well. The finish is warm and deep without being extreme in any way.
Character: 24/25. The Dalmore 15 year is a complex and well-balanced whisky that is loved by many. It is truly hard to put down; each smell makes you want another and every sip makes you want more! It has a warmth that is pleasant, and the winter spices make it perfect for chilly winter nights. Somehow this drink manages to be devoid of unpleasant flavors such as medicinal tastes or excessive salt that seem to pop up in other Scotches.