Adorned with a 12 point stag, this whisky earned a score of 96 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Situated along the banks of Cromarty Firth in the Highlands region of Scotland, Dalmore Distillery Distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson, who had earned his fortune illegally importing opium from the Far East. In 1886, Matheson sold Dalmore Distillery to Clan MacKenzie, whose century-long stewardship and defining influence over the distillery is still evident today — the 12-point stag adorned on every bottle of Dalmore Distillery Whisky is derived from Clan MacKenzie's coat of arms.
Dalmore Distillery Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from plump, golden barley sourced from the rich, coastal soils of the Black Isle. Once the barley has been harvested, it is milled and mashed before being fermented with water drawn from the Cromarty Firth. Prior to reaching the firth, however, the water travels from Loch Morie through a number of peat bogs and limestone quarries, and thus, contributes a slightly mineral and chewy mouthfeel to the whisky.
Once the barley has been fermented, the wash is distilled twice, first through Dalmore Distillery's copper-pot wash stills and then again through its copper-pot spirit stills. The wash stills have an unusually flat-top, while the spirit stills are equipped with cold water jackets. This unusual equipment — the water jackets rinse cold water near the top of the still — makes it difficult for the lighter elements of the whisky to pass through the still, and ultimately results in a more opulent and rich whisky.
Following distillation, the Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Scotch Whisky is fractionated and matured in three different types of casks. While a portion of the whisky is allowed to mature in used bourbon casks, another portion is matured in three decade-old Matusalem Oloroso Sherry butts, and the remainder is matured in casks that were previously used to mature Cabernet Sauvignon from the Saint-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux. After the whisky has matured in the various casks for 10 to 15 years, Richard Paterson — Dalmore Distillery's third generation master-distiller — fuses the whisky together in order to create Dalmore Distillery Cigar Malt Reserve (Paterson is such an expert that his nose was insured for £7 million).
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Scotch Whisky has soft notes of cinnamon, figs, honey and orange zest, which are complemented by notes of stone fruits (particularly plums), cherries, apricots and raspberries. It earned a score of 96 points from Wine Enthusiast in 2011, which named it the "Best Single Malt Scotch" of the year.
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Scotch Whisky represents a lush and opulent expression from one of the oldest and most prestigious Scottish distilleries.
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88 Proof (44% ABV)
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Aromas of fig, chocolate, coffee, orange and raisin, followed by notes of sherry, plums, apricots and a gentle smokiness. Bold, robust notes of chocolate, figs, dates, raspberries and spice. Finish is chewy, with notes of ginger, licorice, oak and charcoal.