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July 25, 2016


Newish Travel Retail Dalmore

Dalmore have launched a new travel retail-exclusive range called ‘Fortuna Meritas Collection’. And why not? They’re all NAS, in true travel retail fashion, so they had to come up with historical stories and tributes. Coz, without an age, you need a story! Having said that, we’ve seen news about them two years ago already, not too sure when they were actually launched. But first, our usual apéritif, let’s make it the regular 15 yo, which I haven’t tried for many years.

Dalmore 15 yo (40%, OB, +/-2015)

Dalmore 15 yo (40%, OB, +/-2015) Three stars and a halfI found it super-good back in 2015 (WF 85). Colour: gold/amber. Nose: typical oranges, malt, butterscotch, warm apple pie, raisins, early grey, liquorice… And then there’s a second page, with more cedar wood, tobacco, toasted bread, and marmalade. Very traditional, sherried and ‘caramelised’, our old uncles will love it. Mouth: it’s not as ‘polished’ as I had expected, and rather more cerealy and bready. Croissants covered with marmalade and cherry jam. And raisins, naturally. Only the weakish strength is a wee problem, and makes it a little thin and slightly papery at times. On the other hand, this feeling of Mars bar and café latte is very pleasant. Finish: medium and appropriately grassier and more chocolaty. The marmalade is back in the aftertaste and would come with a touch of salt. Comments: a lovely dram for lovely chocolate and malt lovers. Probably full sherry. SGP:441 - 84 points.

Dalmore ‘Valour’ (40%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016)

Dalmore ‘Valour’ (40%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016) Two stars and a half We’ve tried a ‘Valour’ back in early 2013, not too sure it was the same. This one was finished in American oak, oloroso, and Port. Not successively, I imagine. Colour: deep gold. Nose: a much lighter, and rougher version of the 15. Styles aren’t dissimilar, but this feels like having lumpfish eggs after caviar. Cardboard, English chocolate, and bitter caramel. Mouth: this is better, a little more vibrant and rather citrusy – those Dalmore-y oranges again – with a jammy background. Guignolet, sweet bread, green tea… Then bitter chocolate and prunes. This one is for your breakfast. Finish: medium, rather dry, and rather better. Pleasant malty aftertaste, with a Christmassy side. Comments: the 15 nearly killed it on the nose, but it was a tie on the palate. SGP:351 - 79 points.

Dalmore ‘Regalis’ (40%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016)

Dalmore ‘Regalis’ (40%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016) Three stars and a half An amoroso sherry finish this time. Amoroso is some kind of sweet sherry that some used to call ‘sweet oloroso’ or ‘dulce’ if I’m not mistaken. Rather out of fashion. Colour: pale amber. Nose: nice! (yes, demonstrating utter accuracy in tasting). More towards old tobaccos and herbal teas, almonds or amaretti, walnut wine, and, bizarrely, vin jaune. IN other words, a finishing in a sweet wine cask that got drier than its counterparts from dry wine casks. A master blender moves in mysterious ways… (that one for Richard!) Mouth: I find this really good. The Valour with more depth and complexity, as well as, perhaps, more freshness. Honeydew, fresh hazelnuts, fresh pecans, even macadamias… And I especially like the faint earthiness. Eating raw mushrooms. Finish: shortish, sadly, but that’s only the minimal strength. Chocolate and café latte. Comments: I’ll say again what any lazy blogger will say, bring a CS version of this! Very good juice. SGP:451 - 84 points.

Dalmore ‘Luceo’ (40%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016)

Dalmore ‘Luceo’ (40%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016) Three stars Finished in Apostoles casks, Apostoles being a kind of old Palo Cortado from the house Gonzales Byass, while a palo cortado is a fino that became an oloroso because the flor (veil) disappeared of broke. Colour: amber. Nose: the most winey so far. Moist black Christmas cake, fresh brownies from the oven, prunes in armagnac, some kind of earthy balsamico cream, and then simply ‘a very old wine cellar’.  You may add a few squares of black chocolate and a capful of dry Marsala. And a few rose petals. Mouth: explosively sherried, not without reminding me of those old Gran Reservas by Macallan (which I did not like a lot, but they became highly collectable for no reasonable reasons, as my grandpa used to say). Pressed black raisins, black nougat, Austrian plums in chocolate (check Kastner’s Rumbapflaumen, a favourite in the house since we found an official exporter - thanks K.), and simply brandy. Spanish brandy. Finish: medium, thick, rich. Prunes, chocolate, and armagnac. No, prunes in armagnac. The aftertaste is a little gritty/green, though… Comments: more Andalusian than Scottish if you ask me. Very good for sure, but the Regalis was more for me. SGP:541 - 82 points.

Dalmore ‘Dominium’ (43%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016)

Dalmore ‘Dominium’ (43%, OB, Fortuna Meritas Collection, +/-2016) Four stars Oh, 43% vol., hallelujah! This one was finished in Matusalem sherry, which is to Dalmore what Connolly leather was to Rolls-Royce. Colour: gold/bronze. Nose: the driest, the most leathery, the most walnutty, and the woodiest of them all. New humidor, curry powder, cocoa powder, sweet mustard, old walnuts, these sorts of things. We’re almost nosing some old oloroso, there’s even a kind of wood/coal smokiness, very peculiar. No, not struck matches, rather flints, old rifles… Mouth: well, it reminds me a bit of neighbours Glenmorangie’s first sherry finishings, that was quite a long time ago. Toffee, coffee, Corinth raisins, and more chocolate than in a Swiss bank. Some heavy black tea as well, Russian style, which gives it a tannic-like feeling. Finish: medium to long and rather spicier. Cloves, caraway, gingerbread, and perhaps sweeter drops of PX. Bizarrely, the aftertaste is rather sweeter and almost liqueury, Zacapa-style, but I like this Dalmore much, much better. And the after-aftertaste is grassier/leafier again. Comments: the biggest one, and that’s not only the higher strength. SGP:561 - 85 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Dalmore I've tasted so far



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