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Dalwhinnie 15 yo (MID ‘90S, OB, 43%)

We talked about Dalwhinnie some days ago, tasting the wonderful 25 yo, a 2015 special release. Today we have another… “special” release, despite its more sober packaging: our dram is the standard 15 yo, but it was bottled more than twenty years ago. It was put on the market in the mid-nineties. You certainly know that independent bottlings of Dalwhinnie are rather impossible to find (only 19 on whiskybase!). This is because Dalwhinnie – as for exemple Glenfarclas – simply doesn’t sell casks to other bottlers. Almost every drop of malt is used for blended (most of all Black&White), but the 15 yo single malt has been part of the Classic Malts range since 1988; the visitor centre was opened in 1991 and also for this reason is one of the most visited Scotch distilleries. Now, let’s taste.

schermata-2017-01-31-alle-23-47-44

N: nice impact! It starts with clear honeyed and floral notes. It’s not a wildflowers freshness, but something that reminds us heather. It shows a orange sweetness (orange peels, but also a warm, ripe and juicy orange) and again honey, with some suggestions of raisins and licorice. The barley provides a strong sense of cereal: it seems to be in the middle of a wheat field! There’s a nice mineral peat, rather edgy (do you think we’re crazy if we write “smog without smoke”?). The smokiness is just hinted.

P: great body, it’s big in your mouth (as Sasha Grey said). The peat, vibrant and mineral, is even more evident here. And the smoke is more intense and dirty, too. This side – matched with the vivid cereal taste – generates a farmy palate. Talking about the sugary part, we must say that everything is more delicate: light honey notes, heather again, orange, dried coconut… The wedding between these two souls is compelling. The mouth is suddenly clean, despite the whisky isn’t short at all…

F: …in fact the finish is medium to long, with balsamic notes of resin.

86/100. It’s good and really really unusual. It’s the perfect Highlands’ Ambassador in the Classic Malts range. It exhibits all the dirty, edgy and mineral notes from Highlands, including the farmy ones, which remind us the lovely Scottish countryside. Ok, we’re starting to write silly things, but we understand each other: it’s really tasteful. Who knows whether the contemporary 15 yo is good as well…

Recommended soundtrack: Mayhem – From the dark past.

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