A welcome ex-bourbon barrel Dalmore (at least by me). This example comes from a first-fill and has been matured for 12 years.
Nose: Crumbled rich tea biscuits and desiccated coconut sit with lacquered oak, cashew nuts and buttered bread. Running throughout – fresh cotton laundry and cooking apples alongside bread pudding. In the background, an interesting meatiness – honey-roast ham with an industrial floor cleaner aspect. The addition of water reveals darker wood panelling, clove spicing and serrano ham.
Taste: Wonderfully strange - and with a powerful arrival. Leather covered seats and bound books sit with ginger and anise spiced sponge cake whilst red berries are livened by chilli pepper, liquorice sweets (Black Jacks), biscuit crumb and roasted Sunday vegetables. Dilution adds sweet and tart peels – grapefruit and lemon alongside spent coffee grounds and milky tea.
Finish: Medium with ground biscuits, and a fading milkiness.
A very solid and characterful Dalmore that challenges the perception that 1st fill ex-bourbon invariable delivers a good whacking from the vanilla stick. This is far from mainstream and yet still in tune with the underlying distillate.