Dalmore 11 Years Old Duthies (46%, Cadenheads, 354 Bottles, 2012)
- Single malt scotch whisky
- 46% ABV, £36 for 70cl
- Score: 83/100
What they say:
William Cadenhead Ltd introduces the Duthies Collection
William Cadenhead (1848-1904) was a traditionalist, well known and highly revered as the founder of Scotland’s oldest independent bottler.
His nephew, Robert Duthie, who took over in 1904, was a modernist responsible for building William Cadenhead Ltd into a bottler of international renown. Whilst William Cadenhead bottled single cask, cask strength whiskies without chill filtering, Duthie believed that mixing single casks together, could, on occasion enhance the character of some of the individual casks.
With these beliefs in mind we are proud to introduce the Duthies Copper Stills range of Single Malts.
The maturation of Single Malt Scotch Whisky in cask is a slow process taking place over a number of years. During that time congeners contained in the distillate will react with the cask in which the whisky is maturing. The cask wood will provide sugars, glycerol lactones and esters, all of which contribute to the flavour of the whisky. The wood will also provide colour which varies depending on cask type.
Each whisky cask is unique and the style of the wood, whether sherry or bourbon, will provide slightly different flavours which then create subtle differences in colour and flavour from individual casks.
If the bottling of a single malt involves more than one cask it is best that a process known as marrying the whisky is carried out prior to bottling. Marrying involves mixing several casks of the same type of whisky together then, if necessary, reduction of the whisky in strength by the addition of water to just above bottling strength. The whisky is then refilled into cask, where it will remain for an extended period of time prior to bottling.
This process ensures that the water can come together with the fatty acid esters and naturally occurring flavouring oils contained within the whisky, resulting in the creation of a perfectly smooth and balanced product which still retains a balance of all the individual flavours and aromas from the original casks.
Nose: Marshmallows, cherry brandy, pineapple sweets and traditional lemonade.
Palate: Boiled sweets, gingerbread with hints of smoke. A little dry reminiscent of dry crackers.
Finish: Creamy and short with notes of cocoa.
What I say:
Dram #2 at the WOLS Return to Drammage tasting on 15th January 2015
This example from Duthies was distilled at the Dalmore distillery in the Highlands and matured for 11 years in oak casks before being bottled at 46%, producing 354 bottles. Although it doesn’t state it on the label we are assuming this is a small batch release of 11 year old ex-bourbon matured Dalmore.
Light gold, medium tears
Marshmallows, citrusy lemon juice, sweet blossom honey, lemon and lime fruits and toffee and caramel oak wood
Vanilla, blossom honey, caramel and butterscotch, cereal barley grist, porridge oats
Short and slightly astringent, cleansing pine wood and citric lemon, hints of vanilla and drying oak wood
A Pleasant, accomplished, small-batch Dalmore. Interesting to sample a bourbon matured example as I usually consider Dalmore to be famously sherried. This followed the Singleton Spey Cascade in our tasting and was significantly less sweeter but still gentle enough to meet with some approval from the WOLS tasters. Factoring in the price – this makes a nice session dram or gentle starter dram for a tasting but was a little lacking in both regional character and light on distillery/spirit character, that said it was a nice, sweet ex-bourbon dram with little to find fault in.