Category Archives: Richard’s Blog

Advent Day 18: Dalmore 12 Year

18 days in a we head back to the sherry side…

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 12 Years
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
The Dalmore 12 year old, with its intricate aromas and flavours, is recognised as a whisky with character far beyond its age. This was Andrew Mackenzie’s original masterpiece and stood apart from the norm of the day. At a time when it was standard practise to mature whisky for no more than 6 years, Andrew Mackenzie demonstrated his pioneering character by doubling the maturation period. His boldness truly paid off, The Dalmore 12 year old still stands apart as an exceptional whisky today, as it did then.

Matured for an initial nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, the spirit is then divided for its final flourish. One half remains in the bourbon barrels, while the other is transferred to exclusive 30 year old Gonzalez Byass Matusalem oloroso sherry butts before they are reunited to create this phenomenal whisky.

What Richard Says
Nose: Big sherry nose on this one with a malty and cocoa powder backing.
Palate: Syrupy orange sweetness playing with a….”dampness” is the only word that comes to mind. A bit of a one trick pony.
Finish: Coffee and dark chocolate…mochaccino maybe? Draw the finish out and it turns bitter.
Comments: Dalmore is one of those “remember when” scotches. As in “remember 20 years ago what it tasted like?” Back when I first started to drink scotch, just about everything Dalmore produced was pretty stellar. This current 12 year old is a pale shadow of what they used to make. Now there really isn’t anything special going on in this malt. And on top of the quality decline, there is a huge jump in price since Dalmore redid their line about 8 years ago. They see themselves as a top tier luxury malt now. Of course, that also includes the requisite luxury pricing. $60+ a bottle? Nah.
Rating: Average

Advent Day 16: Kavalan

Day 16 of the Whisky Advent Calendar comes all the way from Taiwan…

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky
40% ABV

What the Distillery Says
Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky exemplifies the sheer quality of whisky currently coming out of Taiwan. The skills of Master Blender Ian Chang work with the humid Taiwanese climate to create whisky that is diverse and complex. Fresh and clean, the spirit is rich with silky smoothness and hints of tropical fruits, mango in particular.

Nose: Clean, elegant, floral (pleasant & refreshing fragrance of the butterfly orchid), fruity and seductive. With hints of honey, tropical fruits (mango in particular), pear drop, vanilla, coconuts and suggestions of chocolate.

Palate: A hint of sweet mango juice with that spicy complexity and gentle warmth on a medium, oily and citrus finish.

Tasting: Kavalan classic is the perfect partner for seafood. We suggest sometimes you can dilute Kavalan classic with water, the perfect racio is “Kavalan Classic 1: Water 5”, and add ice to cool.

What Richard Says
Nose: Poached pear and green apple sweetness with a mild malty backbone.
Palate: Delicate and floral with notes of under ripe apples, expressed citrus peel, and digestive biscuits.
Finish: Lingering wet wood and vanilla extract.
Comments: I’ve only been fortunate enough to try Kavalan a few times and this is my first experience with their signature malt. It is a lovely, clean, well crafted malt that sits a bit middle of the road. It won’t offend any camp of whisky enthusiast but it won’t set them on fire either. One for the Glenmorangie fans out there.
Rating: Stand Out

Advent Day 15: Lost Distilleries Blend

On the 15th day of Advent, my calendar gave to me…

The Lost Distilleries Blend Blended Scotch Whisky
Batch 10

51% ABV

What the Blender Says
It is no secret amongst whisky-lovers that some of the greatest and most admired distilleries in Scotland are those that have sadly closed over the years. Be these closures due to economic circumstance, lack of demand, or just bad fortune, many of the whiskies left behind have attained iconic, near-mythical status amongst the whisky cognoscenti.

The Lost Distilleries Blend has reached double digits! Yes, The Blended Whisky Company’s exceptional blended Scotch whisky created exclusively with malt and grain whiskies from distilleries that have shut their doors has arrived at its 10th batch. As ever, stocks both rare and sought-after by whisky collectors and cognoscenti alike have made their way into the Lost Distilleries Blend – this time featuring whisky from Caperdonich, Rosebank, Imperial, Mosstowie, Glen Mhor, Glenisla, Glenlochy, Craigduff, Port Ellen and Brora, alongside grain from Port Dundas. A marvel of blending and a fine tribute to those gone but not forgotten greats.

Batch 10 is a release of 1,041 bottles.

What Richard Says
Nose: Deep notes of warm fruit, polished old oak furniture, fine aged tobacco, rich vanilla cream, and that wonderful “old whisky” nose.
Palate: Stewed stone fruits, more vanilla cream, raisins, and toffee.
Finish: Herbal and smoky with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and ground black pepper. After all that fades it gets really bitter.
Comments: Delicious! This is a very complex and well integrated old blend of scotch. It is pricey and not widely distributed. I don’t think that I would scour the earth for a bottle but if you come across the opportunity to try it then you definitely should.
Rating: Must Try

Advent Day 14: Mackmyra Brukswhisky

Day 14 of the whisky advent calendar bring a Swedish treat…

Mackmyra Brukswhisky Swedish Single Malt Whisky
41.4% ABV

What the Distillery
Mackmyra Brukswhisky is an exciting, well-balanced whisky, created to be enjoyed at all times. Enjoy Brukswhisky as it is, with or without ice, on any occasion.

NOSE Butterscotch, citrus, pear, licorice, banana and mint.

TASTE Fresh fruity and peppery. Youthful, fruity flavor with a spicy taste of toffee.

What Richard Says
Nose: Kind of mealy with notes of barley and malt.
Palate: Fruity sweet with an edging of ground black pepper. Clean with a slightly minty note.
Finish: Fleeting with a bit more pepper spice.
Comments: Meh. This is my first experience with Mackmyra and it isn’t starting with a great first impression. This is very light, uninspiring, and should probably be regulated to a mixer…and a pricey mixer at that.
Rating: Average