The Dalmore line has recently been revamped, and along with it a change in the barrel aging mixture. The 12 year was previously matured with around three-quarters of volume in ex-bourbon oak barrels, and the remainder in oloroso sherry casks. With the line revamp, Dalmore 12 is now aged 50% in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels, and 50% in oloroso sherry casks. This shift explains the younger expression’s sherry dominance. I personally hope that the older expressions better balance the sherry against the distillery’s characteristic orange peel flavors. The 40% ABV bottling of the 12 year also makes it a little thin on the palate, in my opinion.
Color: Dark Orange
Nose: Grand Marnier, candied orange peel and candied walnuts or pecans. A splash of water brings out some floral, honeysuckle notes.
Flavor: Major sherry with citrus overtones. Orange peel and orange liqueur notes continue, plus a slight woodiness and some cocoa powder. Some of the more delicate floral and softer fruits flavors are hinted at, but are overpowered by the sherry. Surprisingly thin body for such a robust whisky. Water brings out some sugary notes, maybe a little extra fruit.
Finish is medium length and warming, with marzipan notes. Overall impression is of candied orange mixed with heavy sherry.