Paterson really likes his malts bold and uncompromising. Big sherries…long finishes…a lot of cask play. All well and good, I suppose, but personally I’d love to see a few slightly more naked Dalmores. I’m curious as hell to see whether or not this spirit would age gracefully in a simple bourbon cask.
Anyway…here’s another sassy old (read: pricey) Dalmore, served up after 30 long years of slumber. To be a little more accurate: this whisky spent its first twenty-three years in ex-bourbon barrels before being re-racked into Oloroso sherry butts for an additional seven. That’s a pretty thick icing on a 23 year year old cake. Since seven years is a little too long to refer to as ‘finishing’, I’m actually ok with calling it a ‘double-matured’ whisky.
Now let’s pretend for a few moments – just as friends over drams – that this bottle wasn’t priced only for the rawk stars, athletes and CEOs of this world, and simply speak to the details, merits or faults, be they as they may.
This is Dalmore Ceti, apparently so named for the Kappa1 Ceti star in the Cetus constellation. Kappa1 Ceti is approximately 30 light years from earth (hence cribbing the name for this 30 year old malt), and is thought to be a candidate that may host terrestial planets. Awesome. That will, of course, do us a world of good when we exhaust our resources on this third stone from the sun, and migrate that wee convenient puddle jump of 30 freaking light years! (I should note…that is also approximately the same length of time that will have to elapse before my wife lets me buy a bottle of this whisky. Sorry…couldn’t resist.)
Interesting (if inane and rather esoteric) naming convention aside…I quite like this one. Dalmore with age and I…we get along alright, I guess. Younger Dalmore? For the most part I can take it or leave it, but when the spirit is left to mellow and hibernate for a few extra years, well…there’s no denying some great whiskies are sleeping on in the Dalmore warehouses.
A solid four-figure bottle, this, and limited to 1000.
Do note…I’m going to mention several tropical(ish) fruits in my tasting notes, but this is not what I would consider a ‘tropical fruit’ profile. If not for the Oloroso re-racking perhaps it would be more in that range.
Nose: Orange zest, apricot and tangerine. Florals and mild nutmeg. Cigar or pipe tobacco. Furniture polish. Rye bread and saltines. Some wine-y grape notes.
Palate: Spicy arrival. Oranges in behind. Tobacco notes and chewing on leather. Sweet green grapes and a lot of dried tannic fruits as well. Odd, but pleasant sour candy notes. Some dried potpourri and grass. Hmmm…a little dry and almost, almost over-oaked, I think. If not over-oaked, well…a little too much oak influence. Splitting hairs, maybe, but different enough. Still very nice though. Towards the back there are some lovely peach overtones.
Thanks to my mate, J Wheelock for the taster of this one. Neato.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Dalmore