Dalwhinnie 15 year old – 43%
I was thinking through what whisky should feature in this first review. It then occurred to me that the first whisky I ever bought would be a great one to start, and it helped that it’s a complete cracker. Don’t be swayed by the fact that this is part of Diageo’s Classic Malts range… it is there for a reason!
Since buying the Dalwhinnie 15 three years ago, it has become a staple whisky in my collection. I remember buying it before even trying it, something I probably wouldn’t usually do now, but I loved its classic look…and would later discover that I would love its classic taste.
Dalwhinnie, Scotland’s highest and most remote distillery uses water from the highest mountain source of any malt. So you would usually expect something a bit special. Luckily, they don’t disappoint. Now, what do I think?
Nose: This is such a cracking nose. Big first smell, and it is always incredibly floral and fruity. Honey and toffee are entwined in some real smooth malty notes. There is a dry, crisp heathery scent that I find in many highland whiskies too. I seem to have thoughts of walking through a flower garden with plenty of apple trees present. After some time in the glass a small hint of smoke teases the nostrils.
Palate: Without a doubt this is an incredibly smooth, malty dram. I wouldn’t say this is light or heavy, but includes some strong flavours. Vanilla, honey and a sweet nuttiness are all present. These are all balanced with smidgens of smoke and gentle peppered spiciness. It glides down the tongue effortlessly.
Finish: This is one silky smooth finish. Long, lingering and malty with small wafts of coffee. The honeyed sweetness is still present, now slightly more bitter than before. Relatively intense, but gives way to hints of gentle smoke and malt.
Overall, this is a solid and quality whisky. Some may say the flavours are relatively simple, but they are pretty flawless nonetheless. Compared to other whiskies of similar age, it is a complete steal for the price (especially if you can get it on offer). With some time it can be quite complex too. I always want to make sure I have this beauty in my whisky collection…and it’s made even easier due it’s availability in numerous supermarkets up and down the country. It is the perfect single malt to turn anyone into a whisky lover…. Come to think of it…. it turned me into one!