I do love a Dalmore delivered without all the pomp of sherry-maturation – the distillery's spirit shines just as brightly in ex-bourbon to my mind. This bottling - 10 years in a refill barrel.
Nose: Apple turnovers and gummy bears are conjoined with freshly turned soils, dunnage floors and water loaded fallen tree trunks. Interesting stuff. A big macadamia nut aroma sits with oven-baked buns whilst fermenting berries and apples provide an almost cider-like quality. In the background, caramel, nougat and chocolate (pretty much a Mars bar) alongside Turkish Delight. Reduction adds tartness with grapefruit and savouriness with Yorkshire Pudding batter.
Taste: The arrival is viscous and mouth-coating and offers green apples, sherbet laced apricot and sharp gooseberries. The development heads caskwards with tingly white pepper supported by saw cedar and sandalwoods. The addition of water brings forward sugars and minerals – sweet tinned fruit salad and a chiselled flinty edge.
Finish: Medium in length and quite woody with sappiness, biscuits and fresh apples.
The nose on this Dalmore is deeply complex and quite fascinating to explore both neat and reduced. The palate is less involved, but still appealing with a good selection of fruits and spices all playing reasonable well together. A bit too cask-driven in the finish, but you can rarely have it all at a mere 10 years of age.