Review #94: Dalmore 12

The /r/scotch community kind of has a thing going against Dalmore. Take, in point, this (really funny) meme:

I agree with a lot of the qualms. For one, it’s relatively pricey. The biggest gripe seems to be because it is typically bottled at 40% and chill filtered, which reduces a lot of the strength that whisky aficionados enjoy. “Watery palate” is a good descriptor.

It’s not a challenge to drink (it’s very much a dessert dram), but I actually quite like it. This weekend, we finally went into the OneUp Bar, which is across the street from the Whisky Shop and a bar that we’ve wandered past probably close to a 100 times by now without wandering in. We were skeptical of the cocktails at the OneUp bar, but the first page of their menu was a flight of Dalmore 12, 16, and 18. for only $36 (the Dalmore 18 alone was $29). Our (very generous, very funny) bartender ended up giving us good sized pours, which aided the tasting and our enjoyment of the drams.

  • Score - 7/10

Tasting Notes

Nose: Raisin cookie, pears, strawberry, white grapes, and apples. Sweet chocolates and caramel. 

Palate: Tangerines, golden raisins, light floral spring water on the front palate, then dark rum cake mid-palate with strong sherry, some caramel and finishes with some coffee tannins. Light-bodied. 


Overall: 7/10. Quite good. Enjoyable but I understand why people complain it’s a bit watery and light bodied.

Bought for: $36 for flight of all 3 Dalmores

Quick overview of our scoring system

Additional Information

  • Age: 12 years
  • ABV: 40%
  • Cask: White oak ex-bourbon casks and Matusalem Oloroso sherry casks. First 9 years are in the bourbon barrels and the remaining 3 are in sherry butts


  • Founded by Alexander Matheson, who made a fortune in the Chinese opium trade and retired to Scotland at only 34 years old. He never operated it but instead leased it to the Sunderland family, who were the ones who actually ran the distillery.
  • Later purchased by the Mackenzie family, who were the ones who started the stag crest on the bottles. The Mackenzie clan’s chief had legendarily saved the Scottish King, Alexander III, from a charging royal stag and in gratitude, Alexander III bestowed upon the Mackenzie clan the right to use the royal stag as a symbol.

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