Dram Review: Dalmore L’Anima

[41.5%・49 Years Old・Bottled in 2019・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 1 Bottle]

So a little background information, this is a polygamous marrying of Dalmore whiskies from a bourbon barrel, a cask seasoned with 40+ year old Pedro Ximenez and a Tawny Port pipe, filled in a Baccarat crystal decanter and stored safely in a bespoke handcrafted wooden cabinet..

I was generously offered a taste of a sample taken out for prospective bidders.

Nose:

Provocative from the get go with a sultry dose of aged leather and almonds, brushed with fine chocolate and cinnamon dust. Prunes seasoned with a seductively acidic strawberry reduction as the oak inspires some sensual notes of roasted rosemary and dried mint.

Palate & Finish:

A luxuriously creamy mouthfeel of filtered prune syrup dripping onto marzipan, only a subtle showing of tannins at first, fully immersing into the thickness of the dram.  Blood orange liquor in time unclothes notes of earthy espresso and cigar leaves.

A lasting velvet-esque finish, the Tawny Port influence leaving notes of matured and slightly dehydrated grapes and strawberries on the tip of the tastebuds with leather and dried mint suggestively stretch on, and for the final course a satisfying note of crispy streaky bacon.

Thoughts:

Having the L’Anima reminds me of the Ortolan scene from Billion, “one is bliss, two is gluttony” and I must shamefully confess that I had three nips of the dram. Not quite three stars but perhaps one of the most memorable drams I have come across..

At this age and strength, it’s not deigned to create an existential crisis for whisky snobs but rather to give immense pleasure, for me this is the Dalmore, such outrageous boldness with such soft touches.  At the risk of political and brand incorrectness but with all due respect and admiration this is Adriana Lima in black La Perla.

I was rather turned on by the idea that the L’Anima possesses this savoury edge that just pushes it over the top, and the Tawny Port influence is simply hedonistic; no doubt a Dalmore bathed in all of its finest elusive glory and the articulated campaign to celebrate this whisky is rightfully justifiable, in my opinion.

Pairing the L’Anima with dishes created by chef Massimo Bottura’s likely would be a religious experience..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

P. S. Thank you Joshua, Justin and Martin for this experience.

Dram Review: Silver Seal “Whisky Is Nature” Series Dalmore 1990 25 Years Old

[55.5%・25 Years Old・Distilled in 1990・Bottled in 2015・Silver Seal Bottling・Cask No. 66・Single Cask Release of 228 Bottles]

Nose:

It’s hard to pin down the dram’s main theme from the nose.  It shows glimpses of white fruits and wee citrus, but at the same time the oiliness of the spirit is on full display as well. Also in the mix are popcorn flavoured jelly belly and a malted vanilla creaminess that is backed by plenty of char. Meanwhile the oak is quietly assertive as the barley lays the foundation together with a white floral note.

In time, the oiliness becomes more pronounced, bay leaves and meat broth forming some base notes.

Palate & Finish:

Some pretty citrus up front disguising the spirit hotness; limes, stone fruits and green apples lined with sharp spices before the cask allows for the velvety texture of hazelnut cream to slightly even out the assault.

The fruitiness led by the sweet white grapes and a slight hint of coconuts eventually blossoms beyond the grasp of the oily spirit into something more expressive before gradually being dried off by the oak and the maltiness together with a savoury curry flavour composed of bay leaves and toasted flannel seeds.

The savoury notes transition into chocolate cereal with a wee menthol top note and a floral base note. The dram finishes gracefully with some waxiness and some white fruits.

Thoughts:

This one is rather hard to piece together, complicated rather than complex. Still, it’s very much a dram for fans of big malty spirit, every sip reveals something different and flavours come and go upon every sip.

That being said, the intensity of the spices is ultimately a bit distorting for me.

Nicholas

Whisky Review: Mackillop’s Choice Dalmore 1986 Single Cask

Style: Sherry and Punchy

Nose:
Bright, strong Dalmore-esque aroma on the nose. Strawberry jam spreading on top of a massive malty sponge cake. Assorted dry spices, a lot of earthy nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon bark scattered around… Dried prunes dropping slightly deeper, rendezvous with raisins and liquid chocolate. Fiery strength, but the aroma is able to keep up, incredibly punchy.

Palate:
Sweet strawberry riding on a mighty wave of Dalmore spirit. Ginger and more nutmeg weaving into the sweet malty core. Bright, dazzling red fruits ringing nicely. Orange liqueur pouring over chocolate almonds. The sweetness distilled to its purest form, so sweet and so clean as well… Powerful malt hiding under a delicate sherry mask, thrusts through all the way to the end… Finishes with a touch of earthiness.

Finish:
Malt syrup interlocked with red fruits. Tremoring spice dialling down. Very nice.

Thoughts:
Wow. What a colossal Dalmore we have here. Mighty spiciness but somehow the flavours manage to match the intensity. Red fruits covering on top while the bulwark malt spins its tricks. A real treat because you don’t often see indie Dalmore these days, let alone a sherry cask. Probably not for beginners and too strong to non cask strength drinkers, but this a mighty impressive dram to me.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[57.6% • Independent Bottling • 2008 Bottled • 1986 Distilled • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Bottle Number: 109 • Cask Number: 3096 • Aged 22 Years • **-]

-Esmond

Tasted at Whisky & Alement, Melbourne