Always happy to see ex-bourbon wood 13 – this example has spent 11 years in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. View on SMWS
Nose: Wood certainly feels in charge here, but it seems older and more relaxed than this 11 year old age statement would initially suggest. Teak furniture, wet bracken, damp old paper and chopped herbs join preserved lemons, orchard apples, dusty polish and brassiness. Water brings out some real fattiness with a chip shop fryer and lard buttered bread.
Taste: Undoubtedly woody, but pleasantly aromatic with it – cedar and sandalwood alongside wood lacquer, milk chocolate, cookie dough and tart apple pies. Spiciness levels are high, but to my taste they work exceptionally well here – white pepper and mace – interloping, then fading into the distance as grassiness and hay take over in the back palate. Reduction lessens the perceptibility of the aromats and takes things down a more traditional ex-bourbon note with a touch too much sharpness.
Finish: Medium to long with cacao nibs, plenty of dryness, but not too much astringency.
Whilst this 11 year old Dalmore is better at its natural ABV, there’s a lot to like about this decidedly modern composition. I’m usually not one for big and unrestrained oakiness, but here it presents itself in such an aromatic and perfumed fashion that I can easily forgive it. Divergent from the house Dalmore style. And divergent from most indy Dalmore’s too. ‘Out there’, but well worth an exploring.
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