Category Archives: Dalmore

The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

The Dalmore…to be honest we haven’t really tasted many expressions from this distillery. Nothing negative about this distillery its just that We simply have not taken the time to get to exploring the whiskies it produces. The Dalmore originally released is Cigar Malt a few years ago and many took an immediate liking to it. A nice sherried dram that you can imagine yourself sipping in front of a fireplace on a nice leather sofa. But the Cigar Malt soon disappeared – well at least in name. There was some confusion as to the origins and purpose of the Cigar Malt, from wayward ideas that cigars or tobacco had some hand in the production/aging of the spirit to thoughts that it was meant to be enjoyed while leisurely puffing away on a cigar.  To fill the void of the departed Cigar Malt the Gran Reserva was released – but it just wasn’t the same and apparently the demand for the Cigar Malt remained.  The Dalmore responded to this demand by bringing back the Cigar Malt, but now with the added “Reserve” moniker.  The Cigar Malt Reserve now has a higher percentage (70%) of Oloroso Sherry in the vatting with the remaining 30% consisting of ex-bourbon casks.

The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve ~$125
44% ABV

Fragrant at a distance, the nose of this one breathes an enticing sweet butter caramel with touches of burnt earth, a hint of something medicinal and honey. A full-malt body parcels out oranges, leather, a little roasted char, and slightly smokey sweets. These flavors and a subtle spiciness linger. A pleasing experience.

Comments:  This is a very refined, regal sherried whisky that almost everyone would enjoy.  A relaxing whisky at the end of the day or to share while conversing with a good friend.  The price point is a little steep but not outrageous.  If you like this flavor profile in a whisky then I don’t think that you will be disappointed.  There are some whiskies that I enjoy that others argue are over priced and better whiskies can be had for cheaper – but my response is those other whiskies aren’t the same and I like this whisky.

Thanks to the Baddish Group for kindly providing us with this sample.


Filed under Dalmore

Some Quick Notes on Tasting the Chieftain’s Lineup

Chieftains is another IB, however it was not widely available in the US until a couple of months ago.  So when I learned that K and L Wines was hosting a tasting for some of the US lineup, I signed up immediately.  The event was limited to 35 people and filled up quickly.  It was a little bit of a trek to make the tasting: Martin’s West in Redwood City, but I was betting it was going to be worth it.

The lineup was quite extensive, covering varying regions and flavor profiles:  Allt A Bhainne 31, Dalmore 11, Glencadam 22, Glenrothes 14, Longmorn 13, Linkwood 16, and the great Port Ellen 25.

Allt A Bhainne is a fairly obscure distillery and not many people know about it.  It is located in the Speyside region and is used primarily for Chivas Regal blends.  So it is very rare to get the opportunity to try a single malt Allt A Bhainne.  This malt was surprisingly lively for its age – full bodied, butter, grassy with a slight hint of smoke which was also a surprise.

Dalmore is a distillery that we are a lot more familiar with.  It is located in the Highland region of Scotland and generally has deep-sweet flavors.  This malt was enhanced in a Madeira cask.  I found the Dalmore to be rather underwhelming unfortunately.  There was some tropical fruit sweetness, caramel, you can taste the wine influence but it faded rather quickly.

Glencadam is another Highland malt but it does not release many single malts.  The Glencadam was viscous and chewy with lots of malt.  There was some licorice and grain notes with some fruit underneath it all – a decent dram.

Glenrothes is a very well known distillery out of the Speyside region.  This Glenrothes was finished in a Burgundy cask to add some wine flavors.  The distinctive dark red fruits and sweetness immediately came to the forefront.  The wood was definitely present as well.

Linkwood, like Glenrothes, resides in the Speyside region of Scotland.  However, you probably won’t find a bottle of Linkwood at your local bar.  My first thought was WOW! Big fruit, malt and green apples.  I also found flowers and some heather in the palate.  I really enjoyed this malt, it tasted almost like a Lowland malt to me.  A big surprise.

Longmorn is a neighbor of Linkwood in Speyside.  This malt had baked bread, oak and grain with a slight hint of smoke.  Unfortunately, it faded really fast and I didn’t find it all that interesting.

Finally, I was able to taste the Port Ellen.  For those that don’t know, Port Ellen is one of the most sought after malts out there.  Port Ellen, located in the Islay regions, was demolished in 1982 making whatever was left aging in barrels at that time the last whisky to ever be produced from this distillery.  Unfortunately, the price point for Port Ellen’s is extremely high and keeps increasing as the years go by and the stocks of the whisky dwindle.  This Port Ellen was a nicely balanced malt.  A perfect balance of peat, coastal brine, seaweed, smoke and ashes.

Over all the Chieftain’s line up is solid but to be honest I was expecting a little more.  I really enjoyed the Linkwood and the Port Ellen.  The others weren’t bad but they didn’t stand out for me.  It is nice to see another IB enter into the US market.  I am hoping that Chieftains line will flourish and continue to grow so that we can all experience different and unique flavors from more great distilleries.


Filed under Allt A Bhainne, Dalmore, Glencadam, Imbibed Musings, Linkwood, Longmorn, Port Ellen, Whisky Impressions