Today we’re looking at two recent releases from independent bottler Dram Mor, including our first bottling from Dalmunach.
Dram Mor Dalmunach 6yo Cask #646
Dalmunach Distillery is located in Carron, Speyside. It was built by owner Pernod Ricard (Chivas Brothers) in 2014, and occupies the former site of the Imperial distillery, which was demolished in 2013. This 6 year old Dalmunach was matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel. The outturn was 242 bottles.
A combination of cereals and sauvignon blanc white wine, a weird breakfast indeed. There's a grassy herbal aroma mixed in with lighter chocolate and caramel notes. We're getting a little new make spirit aroma in the background, and the alcohol is quite punchy. Air reveals cornflake cakes, some orchard fruits and a milky vanilla aroma.
A powerful palate showing shortbread biscuits, hints of rye bread and big vanilla-led flavours from the active bourbon cask. We're also finding warm caramel, toffee and oak spices. There's a little bit of citrus coming in towards the finish, lime zest and dark chocolate lingering. The palate is much more balanced than the nose, and the cask has had a big impact here.
Nose (with water)
We're finding much more of a nuttiness coming through, walnuts primarily, mixing nicely with the chocolate and caramel aromas from before. Speaking of those, it's now darker and richer chocolate and caramel rather than the lighter aromas before. There's still some young new make coming through but we're preferring the dram with a splash of water so far.
Palate (with water)
Slightly more citrus, slightly more astringent, but the latter part of the palate holds onto those richer, sweeter flavours. Where we preferred the nose with water, we're unsure if the palate follows on the same path. It's still pretty tasty though.
Our first Dalmunach, so we weren't sure what we were getting into. The nose was a little questionable for us, showing more young spirit and alcohol than we'd like, but the palate was a real surprise - a hefty body that can stand up to a very active cask. Air really helps to open this up, so give it time in the glass. Based on this, we're excited to try some more Dalmunach, and we'll give this particular release a 7.5/10.
Dram Mor Ruadh Maor 10yo Cask #220
Ruadh Maor is the name given to peated Glenturret. This particular release was finished in a refill white port hogshead.
It's like westernised Chinese sweet and sour sauce if you threw a whole bunch of peat smoke into it. Super funky, hay-bales, rubber, wheatgrass, furniture polish and wet cardboard. We're also finding some waxiness, floral perfumed aromas and a little red apple far in the background past the peat.
Dirty, muddy, earthy peat, balanced out with salted caramel, Chantilly cream, white pepper and leather. The finish is one where the flavour dissipates after a medium length, but you're left breathing earthy smoke for 10 minutes more. Air brings out sweet corn, white wine vinegar and cocoa beans.
Nose (with water)
A lighter nose showcasing mellow highland peat as the primary aroma. We feel that it's lost a little of its complexity, and we're not finding a lot of the notes we got on the undiluted nose. Saying that, we are getting some creamy, milky rice aromas, with a little bit of coconut too.
Palate (with water)
Again, the water mellows out some of the funkiness, and we're getting a creamier, sweeter palate overall. The finish lasts a little longer with more of that Chantilly cream and earthy smoke lingering on.
We find Ruadh Maor can be a polarising dram, some love it and some hate it. This expression is slightly on the weird side for us, but we appreciate that it will tick all the boxes for others. It's a good quality spirit and we enjoy the experimental white port cask maturation, so we'd go for another dram.
- 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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