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Dalmore 21 yo (1989/2011, Cadenhead’s, 51,4%)

The distillery, located in the Highlands about twenty kilometers north of Inverness, definetely deserves a visit if you’re a Scotch pilgrim looking for rewarding alcoholic suggestions. The Dalmore, owned by White & Mackay, is in fact cleverly overlooking a green meadow right on the shore of the Firth. In short, a spectacular landscape, made even tastier by an expanse of exhausted barrels, stretching their staves right in front of the entrance. But no more sentimentalism! Today we taste an ex-bourbon barrel selected by Cadenhead’s.

3701_0

N: the alcohol is a bit pungent for now, even if on the palate (spoiler!) this feeling will fade away. It has an austere and elegant profile. Very herbaceous (peppermint, eucalyptus) although the sweet side of bourbon is not hidden, with a strong influence of pear and tropical (pineapple and some banana). Then more chopped wood, almond oil and a feeling of wood polish.

P: there is extreme consistency with the nose; it is beautifully ‘straight’ and it proceeds without steering or accelerating, with still the dried fruit (walnut, almond) alternating with a porridge-like malt. We still find some tropical suggestions of pineapple and slight mentholated excursions.

F: bitter almonds, still herbaceous and very clean. Honestly, not very long.

We never get tired of saying good things about this kind of single cask. Some might argue that in a malt aged for more than two decades we would like to find a deeper complexity of flavors, or a greater intensity (Serge calls it “young old one“): in part we agree and that’s why our rate will not be particularly enthusiastic – but neglecting the elegance and the dryness of the distillate would be a capital sin, and frankly we are people of faith. We would never want to hurt the gods resting in the Firth: 84/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes – A felicidade. Ah happiness: we would swear we saw it with our own eyes on the lawn of Dalmore…

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