Dalmore 12 vs. Dalmore 15


Today we look at a favourite distillery of the whisky meme community. We're going into this with an open mind..

Dalmore 12

Dalmore 12

Region: Highlands

ABV: 40.0%

Price: £50

Dalmore 12 is aged for the first nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, before half is transferred to ex-oloroso sherry casks for the final three years.

Nose

Super malty with a touch of rancio. It’s quite creamy on the nose, there’s also a little yeast and the aroma of a freshly opened tin of sweetcorn. Going deeper there’s a touch of marzipan and the very faint hints of raisins. There’s also a touch of milk chocolate you would find in a Cadbury’s creme egg.

Palate

Initially there’s chocolate and coffee. Dig deeper and you find there’s a lot of red fruit, fresh strawberries and raspberry puree that you’d find in a cocktail barman’s fridge, with some honey and a little pepper spice too. The mouthfeel is flat and the finish is barely existent however. There’s a touch of cinnamon and toasted brioche sitting far in the background too.

Nose (with water)

A richer nose showing more sherry influence, some clove and nutmeg along with sultanas and a drizzle of treacle syrup. We’re also getting segments of Terry’s dark chocolate orange and some wet oak. It’s bordering on savoury, but not quite there yet.

Palate (with water)

Lime cordial, a really citrusy zing that dances on the tongue. There’s also some fizzy lemonade flavours here - it’s actually lost all of the red fruit and gained all of the citrus in the world. It's got some sweetness too in the form of candied ginger, which also provides a little warming heat. Finish is still pretty short with a really thin mouthfeel.

Conclusion

We were coming into this not expecting much, but we were pleasantly surprised. The nose is quite nice, and the palate is fine. It’s non-offensive albeit a little boring and flat. At ~£50, we can’t really recommend it as there are lots of great drams at this price point, but for an intro to whisky or something to sip away at without thinking too hard about the dram, it’ll do the job.

Score: 6.5/10


Dalmore 15

Dalmore 15

Region: Highlands

ABV: 40.0%

Price: £75

Dalmore 15 spends twelve years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, before a three year finish in three different sherry woods - Amoroso, Apostoles and Matusalem oloroso.

Nose

We’re deep in the forest during heavy rainfall, there’s a lot of wet earth and wood, along with 90% cocoa chocolate and a slight herbal thyme scent. There’s some oat and raisin cereal bars, bound together with a brown sugar and treacle syrup. We’re also getting a hint of toasted hazelnuts made into a dark praline with a grating of orange zest on top.

Palate

Is Dalmore flavoured with chocolate orange? This has striking similarities to the 12 in terms of the zesty orange citrus and rich dark chocolate. There’s more of a viscous mouthfeel here reminiscent of marmalade spread on toast, and some ground ginger spice lingering too. There’s a slight anise flavour that leads the way into a medium length finish.

Nose (with water)

We’re getting a lot more sherry bodega funk on the nose now, along with a much meatier smell reminiscent of BBQ pork ribs. Behind that, there’s some instant coffee, caramel syrup and vanilla bean. There’s a hint of red currant jelly and a little freshly whipped cream here too.

Palate (with water)

More bitter coffee mixed in with the chocolate, the orange has receded far into the background now. There’s a little leather, malt loaf and a touch of sherry vinegar too. The silky mouthfeel is retained and the finish still has a decent length.

Conclusion

Overall this whisky has a nice balance of flavours, good mouthfeel and a reasonable finish, but we feel it could be so much more. It’s lacking a punch and body that would really increase our enjoyment of the dram. Less watering down, less chill filtration, less caramel colour and more real whisky flavour please. For the extra £25 over the Dalmore 12, we can’t really say it’s worth it for us.

Score: 6/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

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1 comment


  • Iain Love

    Reviews are going well fellas. Couldn’t agree more with the Dalmore review (albeit surprised you bought either…). Keep up the great work!


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