Whisky Review: Dallas Dhu 24 Years Old 1976 Old Malt Cask

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Dallas Dhu Distillery [closed]

Bottling: Douglas Laing; Old Malt Cask

ABV: 50%

Cost: ~ £150 at auction

dallas-dhu-22-year-old-1976-omc

What they say:

Distilled in October 1976 at the now closed Dallas Dhu distillery, this was aged for over 24 years before bottling in 2001 at 50% ABV, producing 630 bottles at outturn

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 18

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

Distilled at Dallas Dhu Distillery, now owned by Historic Scotland and operated as a distillery museum! Not only is this a whisky from a closed distillery, it was also distilled the same year I was 😉 Always a joy to sample birth year whisky – which isn’t that often to make it very special too. This one was bottled under Douglas Laing’s Old Malt Cask label back in 2001, a great range of whiskies which are now produced by Hunter Laing following the separation of the two companies.

Colour:

Dark amber gold (8/20) numerous fine tears leave fine legs

Nose:

A mid-sweet heather honey, slightly dry and dusty feeling on the nose with some fruits, particularly crips green apple and some white pear, a touch of cereal and vanilla & cinnamon wood spice come in to give an apple pie and custard feel, before the fruit deepend into stewed apples, gooseberry and white grape too, oak wood, biscuit cereal barley, lime juice, pine needles, tangerine peel and ginger round out this fresh vibrant and clean nose.

Taste:

Medium-bodied but smooth and delicate on the palate, sweet heather honey, slightly less fruity than the nose, apples, caramel sauce, cinnamon and freshly grated root ginger spice, pine & oak wood, crème brulee and crème caramel, give way to a classy old and musty ‘bookshop’ filled with aged paper & card, wood and leather book bindings

Finish:

Medium-long, bitter oak wood, slightly herbal, fiery ginger beer spice sweetened with a dollop of honey

Overall:

What a wonderful whisky, great nose, beautifully smooth and vibrant on the palate with a freshness that belies its age and finally a return to prickly ginger spice on the finish to cleanse the palate and entice you back for more. This was a seriously easy-drinker for its age and heritage!

Score: 86/100

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