Up to the Highlands for a 9 year old Dalmore that was distilled on 29th May 2008 and matured in a refill ex-Bourbon barrel for 9 years. One of 168 bottles. Spicy & Sweet flavour profile.
Nose: Pronounced and animated. Warming bakery notes are joined by chocolate fruit cake and in particular raspberries. There are lighter fruits here too lychee for example, but there’s a residue sweatiness that’s discernible – rather like stale trainers or school hall plimsolls. Water reduces the pronounced cake and fruit notes (though disappointingly keeps the clammy footwear) and adds some nuttiness to the equation – roasted peanuts.
Taste: Sharpness, bitterness and booziness. This really is incredibly tart and aggressive to begin with – there’s honey, apple turnovers and cinnamon pastries in there, but it’s hard to get over quite how biting this whisky is. Once your palate has calmed down you may also detect some musty notes akin to damp walls. Water improves things somewhat, but it’s still somewhat hostile. The tartness is closer to rhubarb now, but it’s still quite fierce and acerbic.
Finish: Short to medium in length and bringing in some cask spicing – ginger and cinnamon.
Weird and a bit all over the place. I found both the incredible sharpness and hint of locker-room to both detract away from more pleasant flavours of baking, cakes, fruits and spice. I could not find a balance of water to restore proper order in this one – it’s gone rather rogue. Not for me alas.