Like The Macallan, Glenlivet, and The Balvenie, seeing the name “The Dalmore” on a bottle of scotch whisky means you’re in for a special experience. Drop $50 to purchase The Dalmore 12? You’re getting an interesting expression — worth every penny. But what about a bottle that sets you back between $6,000 and $14,000 dollars? Is there any way to get your money’s worth on an expression like that?
Recently, The Dalmore announced the release of its Rare & Aged expressions. The offerings are The Dalmore 35, The Dalmore 40, and The Dalmore 45. If you were to buy all three, you’d be left with three 750ml bottles of scotch and a $30,000 bill.
These limited-edition expressions were hand-selected by Master Distiller Richard Paterson. If you can afford them, you’ll have three of the best bottles of Scotch in the world. But those prices are no joke. Still, for those interested in the good life (does 2 Chainz like scotch?), each expression is held in a Baccarat crystal decanter emblazoned with a solid silver stag, crafted by silversmiths Hamilton & Inches.
For some reason, we were lucky enough to sample these very exclusive whiskies. Here are our notes.
The Dalmore 35
Where to possibly start with this one? This expression is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon, Matusalem sherry butt, and Port Colheita pipe. The time spent aging is a whopping 35 years. The result is an 80 proof, highly nuanced, mellow whisky that literally deserves to be treasured.
Don’t disrespect this whisky by not nosing it first. The first aromas that will swirl around your nose are those of almond cookies, sweet cherries, and toasted honey. The first sip delivers bananas foster, sticky toffee pudding, spicy cinnamon, and indulgent sweet cream. The finish is medium in length, comfortably warming, and ends with pleasing final notes of candied orange peels and brown sugar.
We don’t have to tell you that a whisky of this magnitude deserves to be enjoyed in a dram — taken slowly, while you sit in front of a roaring fire.
The Dalmore 40
To say this bottle is rare is an obvious understatement. If you even have the scratch to buy one, good luck finding it. This whisky was first aged in ex-bourbon American oak casks before maturing in 30-year-old Gonzalez Byass Matsualem oloroso sherry butts, then finished in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. The result is an 84 proof, complex, deeply indulgent whisky.
The nosing of a whisky of this level is like an epic drum roll before a big announcement. The scents of sweet sherry, caramelized sugar, candied orange peel, and butterscotch waft up through your nostrils. The first sip delivers flavors of maple syrup, cinnamon, fruit cake, and pleasing caramel and vanilla notes. The finish is short, slightly warming, and almost unfathomably mellow and creamy.
This whisky was aged for 40 years. Four decades. You should take your time sipping it. Not 40 years, but long enough to pick up all of the different flavors and appreciate the complexity.
The Dalmore 45
When it comes to rare whiskies, it’s hard to beat The Dalmore 45. This super old whisky was first aged in ex-bourbon American white oak casks before being moved to two varieties of Vintage Graham’s Port Colheita pipes. The two liquids are then married together in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels to finish.
The result is an 80 proof whisky that is so sublime you’ll think your soul has left your body for a few moments while you’re sipping it.
We’re not going to lie, we were really excited to finally taste this expression. We lingered for a long time breathing in the various aromas. This sounds overly dramatic, but you can smell the tireless work and the long aging that went into this dram. It’s a slightly musty, warming, welcoming smell of the barrelhouse itself. Following these notes comes the scent of sweet plums, candied cherries, and almond cream. The first sip yields rich honey, subtle Christmas spices, toasted marshmallow, chocolate, and sweet cream. The finish is short, gently warming, and filled with caramel plus a slight kick of warming spice at the very end.
While we’re not sure we can justify spending almost $15,000 for a bottle of whisky, we understand why it carries this lofty price tag. This is quite possibly the most mellow, easy to drink, complex whisky this taster has personally have ever tasted.