Dalmore is one of those distilleries whose name I have always known, but I'd never actually tried any of their whisky. They're a Highland distillery, and have a very distinctive deer head motif on their bottles.
They always seem exceptionally well represented in duty free shops; it may be that my natural suspicion of 'mass market' alcohol is what's put me off trying them before.
Dalmore 15 Year Old is a dark amber dram, which is explained by a three year finish in three different sherry casks.
The nose is tempting - sweet with dark fruits; dates and raisins. There's a slightly nutty wood character lurking below, and a surprisingly gentle alcohol. Watered, the fruit disappears and the nutty notes come through stronger - much less seductive than before.
It's curious in the mouth; sweet citrus and a slight creaminess but also a jarring harsh spirit which is all the more unexpected given the mild alcohol aroma. Water smooths the harshness, but also smooths out those sweet fruit flavours. It exposes a spicier edge, a touch of ginger and a more generous finish.
It's more approachable watered, but at the expense of a glorious nose. The whisky is nice enough, but there's just something missing that would make me fall in love with it. 2.5 stars.
This review was originally published 8th December, 2014. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.