Dalmore 1989 Cadenhead


Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.

The Dalmore is quite a controversial whisky. Much loved by collectors and people looking to show off, yet not so much by real whisky geeks. Part of the reason for this is the heavy marketing Dalmore do coming off as a fancy brand meaning they can often be overpriced. Another reason is their heavy use of caramel to colour their whiskies.

That’s why I was excited to try this independent bottling. It comes without any of the fancy packaging, artificial colouring or chill filtration found in the distillery so one can really get to try the base spirit and explore its character.

This particular one is an older bottling, bottled in 2005, from a bourbon hogshead. It would have been interesting to have been able to compare this to the distillery bottled 15 year old from around then, I even had one from around the same time (2009 or 2010 I think), but unfortunately was not possible.

Aged 15 years. 57.5% ABV. Matured in a bourbon hogshead. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask. 

Nose: Light floral notes. Green grass. Coconut icing. Candy floss. Ripe pears. White grape juice. Light varnished wood. Ever so slight note of acetone.

Palate: Citrus oils. Creamy vanilla. Bitter wood. A little muted and flat here, pity.

Finish: Long. Camphor. Mint Creme. Bitter wood. Seville oranges.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes


The nose on this was pretty good, minus the slight acetone. Very much your typical highland whisky, light and fruity. It fizzled out a bit on the palate unfortunately but came back for a really long finish. It was very interesting and quite a contrast to the distillery bottled Dalmores, and pity that they don’t let the spirit speak for itself more, done right it could be really good.


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