Every November, The Dalmore assesses its collection of casks and pulls a handful that represent the distillery’s house style — but which were all distilled in a single year. These Vintage Collection releases are rarities that exemplify the best of what’s in the cellar, all very limited Highland single malts that are said to showcase the heart of what makes The Dalmore so recognizable.
For 2023, the distillery has pulled two vintage-dated Select Editions, one from 2005 and one from 2008. We got samples of both to try. Let’s get into it.
The Dalmore Select Edition 2005 – 18 years old. Aged in bourbon casks then finished in vintage 2005 sherry casks and Matusalem sherry casks before marrying, then bottling. Bright citrus on the nose, richly nutty and lightly oxidized. Notes of almond build and build, almost impossibly, to create an immersive and rich aroma. All this and more on the deep, soulful palate: vanilla custard, milk chocolate, almond nougat, and layers of figs and dates make this feel far older than it actually is (though at 18 years of age, it’s no spring chicken). Bottled at just the right abv to bring out its rounded, creamy characteristics, the finish sprinkles in a light dusting of Christmas spice, making for a perfect holiday tipple. Easily the best Dalmore I’ve encountered in years. Pity the price is so high. 98.6 proof. A / $500
The Dalmore Select Edition 2008 – 15 years old. Aged similarly in bourbon, then finished in 15 year old (non-vintage) Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and Matusalem sherry casks before marrying and bottling. The addition of PX sherry throws this bottling a slight curveball, and the nose shows it, with a stronger, more wine-heavy nose, rich with stewed fruits and fig jam atop a more candied orange note, laced with chocolate. A bit more astringent on the tongue, with an orange peel note counterbalanced by a rich layer of honey, plus hints of lemon tea, fresh hay, and a note of tobacco leaf. More cocoa powder on the finish, with ample citrus lingering. Excellent. 91.6 proof. A- / $200