Now for the 3rd and final installment in our 3 part review of Master of Malt Whisk(e)y Samples. Since G-lo went with his taste and took the full bodied and smoky Caol Ila 17 sample and the ROK went for the Old Fitzgerald 12 sample, I got a chance go with something more my style and sample the spicy Dalwhinnie 15 sample from the Scottish Highlands.
The bottler’s website gives this description:
“One of the highest of all Highland distilleries, Dalwhinnie produces a welcomingly gentle spirit that’s full of character. Smooth and soft with heather, honey and delicate spice, creamy not dry. A single malt with smoothness and depth that benefits from a full 15 year of aging.”
Here’s my take:
- Appearance: Golden straw color with long legs in the glass.
- Aroma: There is not much of a nose to this spirit. Peppery & spicy aroma with subtle hints of fruit and honey.
- Body: Despite the long legs the mouthfeel is thin and light bodied
- Taste: The taste follows the nose in reverse. On the tongue this starts with subtle fruit and sweetness but quickly moves to warm white pepper and cinnamon.
- Finish: Long pleasant warming sensation of pepper and spice.
- ABV: 43%
The Dalwhinnie is described as “The Gentle Malt” and I couldn’t think of a better description. It is light and balanced but still has a nice warm peppery flavor. Neat the alcohol can over power the flavors and make for a harsh finish. With water the flavors do not evolve but the hard alcohol edges get smoothed over and the flavors come through.
Final verdict: This whisky is a great value, always reasonably priced, especially considering 15 years of the distiller’s patience went into making this it. This is a spirit I would recommend for the whisky drinker who is looking to step up from lower end simple whiskys, as a gift for whisky drinker when you don’t know their exact taste, or for someone who wants to add a whisky to their bar that would appeal to a wide range of drinkers. Give it a try and enjoy!
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