Back in early May, I received a press release from The Dalmore’s UK PR firm regarding their recently released Constellation Collection, a 21 expression, ultra luxury release that will include whiskies with vintages between 1964 and 1992, and prices that will go from $3,200 to $31,200 per bottle, or just under $250,000 for the entire collection.
Although I was tempted to ask for a sample of these whiskies, I decided to set my sights lower and instead asked for samples of their core range which includes the 12, 15, Cigar Malt, and 1263 King Alexander III expressions. Thankfully, their UK press agent was very kind and offered to fulfill my request. Two weeks later, I received an email from The Baddish Group (their US PR firm) saying that my request was passed along to them, and that they would be sending me samples lickety split!
The Wookie has the 15 year old expression, Limpd has the Cigar Malt expression, and I will eventually pass along the 12 year old expression to The ROK (he’s been a very busy boy!). Since I was intrigued by the 1263 King Alexander III (never heard of it before), I kept it for myself.
Back in the 1970’s through the 90’s, Paterson began aging his finest malts in a wide range of wine and spirit casks to add subtle shadings and nuance—not to sell individually, but to vatt together to create a sublime malt whisky far greater than the sum of its parts. Paterson’s palette of woods include French Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques; Madeira drums; sherry butts from Jerez de la Frontera; marsala barrels from Sicily; port pipes from the Douro; and sweet bourbon barrels from Kentucky. Once matured to perfection, the aged malts were expertly married by Paterson to create the most noble of all The Dalmore malt whiskies … one truly worthy to commemorate a King of Scotland.
And now for my review of this complex sounding expression from The Dalmore…
- Appearance: Deep amber color with auburn highlights when held up to the light.
- Aroma: Very sweet and fruity on the nose. Brown sugar. Allspice. Vanilla. Cinnamon. Spiced apple. Dried fruit. The time spent in barrels that once held fortified wines is very apparent.
- Taste: Somewhat watery mouthfeel. Starts off with a healthy dose of brown sugar and cinnamon sweetness that concentrates on the middle and tip of my tongue. The cinnamon heat intensifies at mid-palate and coats your mouth with flavor. A bit of wild cherry and raisin sweetness in the background to balance the heat. Long, warming sweet/spicy finish. Dry and somewhat astringent aftertaste.
- ABV: 40%
The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III is a definite departure from the single malt whiskies that I normally imbibe. While it lacks the smoke and medicinal qualities that I typically enjoy, it is nonetheless a very smooth and easy drinking whisky, with a good balance of sweetness and cinnamon spiciness. I like this whisky, but I don’t love it. It’s a bit too sweet for my taste, and this fact didn’t become apparent till I poured my second dram of the night. Overall, the King Alex is a lovely change of pace, but not something that I would drink on a regular basis.
Many thanks to Harry Hussein and Laura Baddish for sending us these very generous samples!