Dalmore’s Valour was first released in 2015 as a global travel retail exclusive – it was added in to the Fortuna Meritas Collection subsequent to the initial announcement of the new range. It’s therefore the only bottle in the Collection without a proper Latin name. I’m somewhat surprised that once Valour joined the other Fortuna Meritas bottlings that it didn’t have its name updated to match the other expressions – ‘Virtus’ as the Latin version of valour would work perfectly to my mind. But, I’m sure that having established the bottling as Valour and once sales figures were tallied, commercially there was no need to mess with the branding.
Valour has been matured in first fill ex-Bourbon barrels, oloroso butts from Gonzalez Byass in Spain and port pipes from the Douro region of Portugal. It comes in a litre bottle and is bottled at 40%. Whilst originally produced for travel retail, it’s now commonly available from good retailers. A bottle from Master of Malt will cost you £63.90 as of writing.
Nose: Sweet berries with a highly discernible port wine influence. To begin with we welcome blackberries and blackcurrants, both dried and lightly stewed. Then comes the port influence – slightly leathery, and with almond nuttiness. The nuttiness merges with the inherent sweetness provided by the oloroso sherry to form a sugary marzipan. There’s light complexity here from tobacco and mild mustiness/earthiness. Alongside a hint of rubber (sherry cask?) and a backdrop of toffee and fudge.
Taste: Ack – incredibly thin and watery and offering too little body and initial attack. Bitter oak tannins offer a rather jarring experience, though the situation is however improved with heathery honey and liquorice. Fruit influence is certainly pleasant, but a lot less well defined than on the nose. Toffee and fudge still remain and are tempered by some light white pepper and a hint of minerality – akin to chalk.
Finish: Medium in length with some astringency and white pepper.
Dalmore Valour has a pleasant enough nose, but the palate is neither as well-defined, nor as cohesive. Whilst largely inoffensive and with some warming sweet notes and spice, the body is fairly wishy-washy and the bitterness and astringency override many of the more subtle flavours.