I’m not sure what was happening in the barrel during those 6 extra years, but it wasn’t doing much to elevate this casual standard whisky, alas. That said, it’s hard to beat a decent, drinkable 18 year for under $80. That pricing strategy is the reason I enjoy the 12-year, so why not enjoy the 18 for the same reason?
It’s a vatting of malts between the ages of 10 and 15 (probably 12-14 on average), 40% of which is matured in first-fill American oak ex-bourbon casks, and 60% in first-fill oloroso sherry butts. The vatting is married in ex-sherry for 6 months and bottled at 40% ABV (boo). To be frank, I didn’t think it stood up to either of its siblings, although I’m sure it’s lovely with a cigar. Regardless, this review is based on my tasting it in between the 12 and 15.
This is a very fine example of a spicy, supple sherried Highlander with the added bonus of Dalmore’s signature orange peel. At $56, this is a quality sherried Highland malt for a great price. I’d even say it’s worthwhile around $65.
There comes a point in every whisky lover’s journey when he or she surveys the box/cabinet/shelf/underwear drawer in which his or her whisky collection is stored and wonders how long all those open bottles are going to keep. Here are some tips to keep your whisky tasty, and know when its time has come.
The basic 8-year is priced quite high for its age, and for me occupies a no man’s land between affordability and cult appeal. If light whisky is your thing, you owe it to yourself to splurge on one of the expressions of Hazelburn. If you like robust and fully-flavored malts, steer clear.
Very nice, but nothing really special – just a wine finish Glenmo, and an education in the domineering effect that red wine casks have on maturing scotch. The grappa – an unforgettable barrage on the palate that mostly tastes like sour grape skins – dominates here as well.
I also learned that Yellow Label actually – surprise! – tastes good. In a blind tasting, I would have associate this with some $30 bourbons I’ve had – not the top of the heap, by any stretch, but certainly drinkable straight. That’s not bad for bottom shelf.
I say the NEAT glass is a worthwhile investment for the aficionado looking for a new way to experience whisky, or for the beginner who dislikes the strong smell and burning sensation of strong, straight alcohol.