Unfortunately for my wallet, I have a strong affinity for distilleries that are no longer open. Rosebank, Brora, Port Ellen and of course Dallas Dhu. I have a lot to thank Dallas Dhu for. The first Dallas Dhu that I was introduced to was the magnificent Signatory Cask Strength Collection expression. This was when I was first starting to explore single malt whisky. At the time I was all about Talisker and its signature pepper and smoke as well as the Islay’s. In my uneducated and stubborn opinion (according to my wife this hasn’t changed much) everything else was uninteresting and boring.
This was until Roger, who I like to think of as my whisky teacher during my formative years, pulled the above referenced Dallas Dhu out of this cabinet. I know around the whisky blogosphere it is common to find long descriptive tasting notes, but I can sum up that dram up with one word: WOW! And maybe with a little: What the hell was that? I had no idea that whiskies not from Islay or the Islands could have so much flavor. I was forced to re-evaluate my position. So to Dallas Dhu – and Roger – thank you for setting me free from the bondage’s of peat, smoke, pepper and other coastal flavors so that I can enjoy and appreciate what the rest of the world of whisky has to offer.
So this brings me to the expression on hand: Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Dallas Dhu.
Distilled in 1976 and bottled in 2005 at 50% ABV
Color – Medium straw
Nose – Apples, lemon, definite alcohol singe, cinnamon, cherry pie
Palate – Surprisingly sweet, oak, spices, full bodied, malty, very different than the nose – loses a lot of the fruit, hides the alcohol well, hint of smoke on the tale
Finish – long, tongue numbing on those spice and smoke notes.
This did not disappoint, very satisfying. The sweetness balanced well with the hints of smoke and spices. Too bad it costs so much!