Dalmore is a highland distillery in Scotland and has been distilling since 1839. The highlands are the largest whisky-producing region of the isle and boast and of the biggest names in the country. Highland whisky is generally very mild and accessible, and The Dalmore is no exception.
At about $100, The Dalmore 18 is one of the older malts in Dalmore’s regular range and is aged in American ex-bourbon casks for 14 years, then 4 more years in sherry butts. As a result, this malt is fruity and sweet with a mild palate and long, pleasant finish. Compared to bolder scotches, this malt is quite mild and is great sipped neat after dinner as a digestif. Cigar pairings are a good fit, of course, but choose a milder Dominican stick so you don’t overpower the subtleties of the whisky.
The flavor and cost are in line with each other, offering a complex and cool profile at a price range that’s to be expected from a distiller of this caliber and a scotch of this age.
This bottle of Balblair 2001 was bottled in 2012, making it an 11-year-old scotch. The bottle itself is classy, to be sure: a squat oval shape with a raised glass vine crawling up the left side. The whisky itself is pale, a more yellow tinted liquid than I’ve seen in scotches, but I’d guess the color is all-natural.
Balblair 2001 is a treat, with a wonderful fruitiness in the smell and a flavor that’s bright and cool. From there, Balblair has a lingering agey-ness in the flavor: the scotch itself is lighter bodied, but the finish is rich and has a distant flavor of charred wood. This isn’t a smoky scotch, nor a peaty scotch, but it’s a very complex tasting, high quality scotch for sure. You can pick up Balblair 2001 for about $65.