Dalmore Luceo, translated as ‘I shine’ from Latin is the 3rd part of the distillery’s Fortuna Meritas Collection. Again, like many Dalmore expressions, its origins lie in American white oak, but this has been enriched through the use of Apostoles sherry casks. Apostoles is a type of sherry from Gonzales Byass that is designated at VORS: Vinum Optimum Rare Signatum – or Very Old Rare Sherry. Only sherry casks 30 years or older can bear this designation. Luceo comes in a standard 70cl bottle (despite being a travel retail expression), and is bottled at 40%. You can pick a bottle up from Master of Malt for £78.30.
Nose: Real fudgy toffee and deep sherried notes. Chocolate cake, liquid fudge and Devon cream toffee make for a welcoming start. Sherry notes of sultanas and figs are joined by an earthy biscuitiness – rather like oat cakes and brown malty bread. There’s some floral here in the background – palma violet-esque. After a few minutes of resting, the nose reveals fresh coffee beans.
Taste: Sweet and very richly sherried. As with many Dalmore bottlings at 40%, the mouthfeel is a touch thin, but in this case, not overly detracting. Starting with coffee and walnut cake we swiftly move on into rum-soaked raisins, treacle and icing sugar. Chocolate cake, blackberry preserve and molasses keep us firmly at the richer and sweeter end of the spectrum (perhaps a bit too much). Nuts and cloves bring additional interest and are joined by an interesting herbal/floral flavour which rather reminds me of cough syrup.
Finish: Medium, with well-judged astringency and some tart fruits and berries.
Dalmore Luceo has some really good flavours and certainly takes us on a sherry-led journey. But, at times I find the sweeter notes become a touch cloying and overbearing. Nevertheless, this is straight-forward, well-made and quite drinkable.