Sunday, December 20, 2009
Dalwhinnie 15 years Highland Single Malt Scotch
Aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks. However, Distiller's Editions released by this distillery frequently involve some aging in ex-Oloroso sherry casks.
Vanilla, lemon, apple blossoms, pears.
Apple skins, bruised apple sweetness, salted almonds drizzled in honey, caramel, syrup and barley toys.
Spiciness emerges, baking soda, black pepper, but only slightly.
Drying malt, pencil lead, graphite, oak, balsa, a wee smoke, peat and heather.
Whenever I encounter the flavor profile of Dalwhinnie, the best word to describe a unique aspect of the flavor profile at mid-palate is the word 'heather.' I hate to use a term that I cannot define well. Who eats heather? What does it taste like? Heather is a common, low-lying shrub that goes by the latin name of "Calluna vulgaris." Wikipedia states that it has a characteristic strong taste. Bee hives located near bogs or moorland containing heather tend to produce a much stronger variety of honey. So, when I use the term 'heather' think of it as that taste you experience of the other flavors on steroids so to speak. "Heather honey" is stronger than ordinary honey.
In any event, the heather works beautifully with the honey, cinammon, cocoa, coffee and other flavors (ie. oak) in this Highland malt.
Tasted neat, it's a single malt scotch that starts out silky, very sweet, but quickly develops very rich honey flavors. Nothing bitter or too robust that will put off the novice drinkers.
Dalwhinnie also delivers 'some' complexity of flavor that will set it apart from others. I say 'some' because it is not overly so.
I recommend this as a great gift to all those who want an inoffensive, yet interesting Highland single malt.
© Jason Debly, 2009- Present. All rights reserved.