Dalmore #97: Dalmore 18
The final dram of our Dalmore flight at OneUp in San Francisco (Dalmore 12 review at 7/10 here and Dalmore 15 of 5.5/10 score here) was the Dalmore 18. I had been toying with the idea of buying a bottle for a while – mostly because the King Alexander (Dalmore) is around $300 and the Dalmore 18 is more accessible at around $170 MSRP. The more reasonably priced 12 and 15 are also difficult to justify purchasing – mostly because our apartment in San Francisco is tiny and filling up – so when we buy a bottle, it had better count.
The flight at OneUp ended up being $36/flight, which was a steal considering that the Dalmore 18 was $29 (and the bartender gave us full pours).
The Dalmore 18 ended up being the highest scorer of our flight (maybe because it’s higher ABV than the other two at 43% instead of a mere 40%), but I’m still on the fence about procuring a bottle. It’s good, but not $180 good. It’s very dessert-like and enjoyable, but I’d far prefer the oily depth of the Glendronach 21 Parliment.
- Score - 7/107/10
Nose. Bright purple grapes. Cherry pie. Strong sweet toffee. Banana a la mode with strawberry ice cream. Instantly comforting.
Palate. Caramel and toffee hits immediately, with strong raisins and sherry. Opens to a very round of ripe apples and cherries with vanilla.
Finish light vanilla and sweet milk chocolate.
Overall: 7/10. Quite good! (Our scores tend to hover around 6 for a more average whisky). Definitely something I would be reaching for post-meals if I had the bottle lying around.
Quick overview of our scoring system
- Cask: Ex-bourbon for 14 years and then 4 years in Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks (which held 30 year old Oloroso sherry enriched with Pedro Ximenez sherry)
- ABV: 43%
- Age: 18 years
- Pot still, 100% malted barley
About (copied from our Dalmore 12 article)
- 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.
- Read the Dalmore 12 review and read the Dalmore 15 review