The Dalmore 18 Year Old Highland Single Malt, Scotland (Alcohol 43% / 86% Proof)) LCBO $223.95
It’s certainly not every evening that I would recommend dropping 224 dollars on a bottle of Scottish Malt Whisky, but then again The Dalmore is hardly your common or garden single malt. As I have written previously, The Dalmore distillery is viewed as being the source of some of the most singular and sought-after malts in the world.
On a recent visit to the distillery itself I had the extreme honour of being taken through an in-depth tasting of much of the Dalmore range by their legendary Master Distiller Richard “The Nose” Paterson.
With some five decades in the industry, Paterson is legendary figure, cutting a particularly Scottish swathe in his immaculately tailored suits, ties and pocket squares.
In so many ways he IS Dalmore.
And this is no bad thing, as there is a solid argument that MAN is the guiding hand when it comes to such matters…
As well as being the proverbial fountain of knowledge, Richard Paterson is also an extremely charismatic gentleman, with some of the finest of tales concerning the art of what makes for a great malt whisky.
In presentation and conversation he certainly doesn’t pull any punches, something remarkably refreshing in the world of premium spirits.
Watch this space for a video interview with the man himself in the coming weeks.
Now, back to the matter at hand, the whisky itself…
The nose is bloody crazy: Fry’s Chocolate Orange, deep/dark/cocoa-rich chocolate notes, top-notch Fortnum & Mason marmalade, touch of iodine, gangala root, the pungent, exotic reek of a paper bag of the best sultanas that money could possibly buy in a sweaty Constantinople circa 1700’s.
There’s a shedload going on in here, but there is most certainly a most vinous aromatic from the four years of Gonzalez Byass “Matusalem” Oloroso (a perennial favourite of mine as a tipple on its own, so this connection makes sense) sherry-finishing… sweeter and richer on the palate than most Highland malts.
Thankfully all of the above carry through to the extremely pleasurable and indulgent, gloriously dank (in a good way!) finish… which ends up with a most satisfying St. Bruno ready-rubbed pipe tobacco twang.
The finish reminds me of being a child and my Musselburgh Grandfather smoking a pipe and swearing at me.
An olfactory memory if ever there were one.
I’d take this after dinner… a game of chess perhaps?
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’s using this beauty to warm the last of these cold Canadian winter nights.