Whisky Review: Dalwhinnie 2002 Distillers Edition
- Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Dalwhinnie distillery
- Bottling: Diageo, OB
- ABV: 43%
- Cost: £65.82
What they say
Lovers of Dalwhinnie will appreciate the way the fragrance of Oloroso flavours overlays, but does not mask, the heather honey distillery notes.
Dalwhinnie Distiller’s Edition is finished in casks that previously held oloroso sherry, so we recommend you sip it neat.
Official tasting notes:
- Nose: One of the closest aromas to walking into a Jerez bodega I have ever experienced. Heavy duty fresh sherry masks the maltier, more honied aspects of Dalwhinnie. The peat is still there and so, somewhat surprisingly, is the heather. Rather spicy but distinctly grapey.
- Taste: in brief… Spicy, peaty malt and sherry-sweetness with a dry finish. In a sentence… A rich, spicy nose, then flavours of heather, pear and the bodega lead through to a very dry finish dominated by oak.
- Finish: Tons of oak. Very, very dry with vanilla dominating. The perfect dram for those in search of a very dry malt finish.
What I say
One of the most picturesque distilleries not situated on Islay’s coastline, any traveller using the A9 will surely recognise the beautiful Dalwhinnie distillery nestled in the mountains. Dalwhinnie was our first distillery visited a long, long time ago and probably one of the most frequent, we were there just three weeks ago during our travel up to Inverness.
It is somewhat surprising then that I have relatively few notes on Dalwhinnie whiskies. Mainly as I am driving when we pass by, so can’t dram at the distillery, and I rarely purchase bottles these days. The last time we were there I was tempted by their special edition bottling (Lizzie’s Dram) for one of the first female distillers working at Dalwhinnie, but with little information available I decided against it.
Anyway I digress, here are notes for the latest Distillers Edition bottling (expect the next out this month). These annual special release, limited edition, bottlings take the standard distillery bottling (in this case Dalwhinnie 15 year old) a step further with a finishing period in designated casks. For Dalwhinnie it is paired with Oloroso Sherry cask finishing, adding a little something extra.
This distillers edition was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2017 – fitting into the recent trend indicating that the finishing period may be less than 12 months, whereas the 2000 vintage was bottled in 2016. I’m hoping to explore much more of these series as each release not only offers an insight into that years spirit production at their given distillery but also the quality of finishing casks used.
Purchased from Master of Malt
As we put together a listing of the limited Clynelish Distillers Edition bottlings, here are the details for Dalwhinnie’s – thanks to information available in Whiskybase – if anyone has information about missing details from this list please get in touch.
- Dalwhinnie 1980 Distillers Edition D.SC.312 no bottling date provided (confirmed First Release, quoted 1997)
- Dalwhinnie 1981 Distillers Edition D.SD.312 no bottling date provided
- Dalwhinnie 1984 Distillers Edition D.SG.312 bottled 2000
- Dalwhinnie 1985 Distillers Edition D.SH.312 bottled 2001
- Dalwhinnie 1986 Distillers Edition D.SI.312 bottled 2002
- Dalwhinnie 1988 Distillers Edition D.SK.312 bottled 2003
- Dalwhinnie 1989 Distillers Edition D.SL.312 bottled 2004
- Dalwhinnie 1990 Distillers Edition D.SM.312 bottled 2005
- Dalwhinnie 1990 Distillers Edition D.SN.312 bottled 2006
- Dalwhinnie 1990 Distillers Edition D.SO.312 bottled 2007
- Dalwhinnie 1991 Distillers Edition D.SP.312 bottled 2008
- Dalwhinnie 1991 Distillers Edition D.SQ.312 bottled 2009
- Dalwhinnie 1992 Distillers Edition D.SR.312 bottled 2010
- Dalwhinnie 1995 Distillers Edition D.SS.312 bottled 2011
- Dalwhinnie 1996 Distillers Edition D.ST.312 bottled 2012 £79.95 (The Whisky Exhange)
- Dalwhinnie 1997 Distillers Edition D.SU.312 bottled 2013 £71.95 (The Whisky Exhange)
- Dalwhinnie 1997 Distillers Edition D.SV.312 bottled 2014 £69.95 (The Whisky Exchange)
- Dalwhinnie 1998 Distillers Edition D.SW.312 bottled 2015
- Dalwhinnie 2000 Distillers Edition D.SX.312 bottled 2016 £71.95 (The Whisky Exchange)
- Dalwhinnie 2002 Distillers Edition D.SY.313 bottled 2017 £65.95 (The Whisky Exhange)
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Bright copper/ruby (12/20), medium-large tears with medium-thick and oily legs.
- Nose: Warm and inviting, juicy and dried fruits, honey, raspberry and apple coulis, hints of soft leather, vanilla cream, light gingerbread and creamy butterscotch.
- Taste: Medium-full bodied in texture with a distinct oiliness but quite light in flavour – characteristic of Dalwhinnie’s style. Honey and red berries, a raspberry shrapness and strawberry sweetness combine with apple and white grape, golden raisins, a touch of tannins precedesbaking spices; cinnamon, ginger, quite sharp raspberry, blackcurrant & apple and pear, a touch waxy.
- Finish: Medium, sweet & juicy fruits, vanilla and malt persist (all quite safe).
Better than the standard Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old for me but then again I do like sherry-influenced whisky. This has more depth than the standard expression but is still wrapped in a light creaminess. Basically this is the Dalwhinnie 15 year old but with lively and juicy berry fruits, tannins and spices from the Oloroso Sherry cask.
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