This Dalmore 18 years old has been recently released in Autumn 2009 and is a limited edition bottling. Only 3000 bottles are to be sold worldwide and there has been much expectation as it is the first time that Dalmore have ever released an 18 years old whisky. It joins the 12 and 15 year olds, as well as the rarer Gran Reserva and King Alexander III bottlings that form Dalmore's core range. The whisky has been matured firstly in American oak ex-bourbon casks before transferring to sherry casks. It is bottled at an alcoholic strength of 43% ABV.
Color: dark golden amber
Aroma: very pleasant, sweet and rich.
Taste: plenty of malted barley that is quickly joined by the classic sherry cask characteristics - dried fruits (think of raisins and sultanas), candied peel (especially oranges), nuts (imagine walnuts and almonds) and caramel. On the palate, this feels full bodied and silky with the sherry cask notes from the nose prominent. There is plenty of dried fruit, especially raisins, and this is complimented by a lovely woody and nutty spiciness (think of a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts). In addition, there are other elements - the slightly bitter candied orange peel, caramel, vanilla and a hint of something darker that is reminiscent of dark plain chocolate/cocoa powder and roasted coffee.
Finish: The finish is rich, fruity (the dried fruit and candied peel again) with a warm spiciness (imagine cinnamon with some cloves?). This new Dalmore 18 years old is a lovely, rich and smooth whisky. It is well worth a try, especially if you like your fruity sherry cask matured whiskies or if you drink other richer spirits such as dark rum, Cognac or Armagnac.