26 August 2011

Dalmore 40 "A Drop of Dramming Distinction"

Normally I’m not one for reviewing whiskies that come with an astronomical sky high price tag, though on this particular occasion I‘ve decided to make an exception.

In a world where whiskies are now being sold for in excess of £100,000.00, the ball park price for the Dalmore 40 year old of £1400.00 seems like a mere snip in comparison. Though it has to be said the one and only reason I felt I had to write about this particular drop of Dalmore drammage is quite simple, it’s phenomenal!

Now whether in financial terms this or any other whisky is actually worth paying something in comparison to a mortgage payment is a debate for another day. I know that unless I win the lottery there is no way that I could even consider such a purchase, so I count myself very lucky that I was able to get hold of a sample.

Even before you’ve managed to interrogate this dram on the nose and palate, you can tell you’re in for the ride of your life on the ‘Text Book Definition of a Perfect Dram Express’.

Though it’s actually more of a first class, overnight sleeper train, taking it’s time on a long smooth balanced journey. One that’s in no hurry to reach its final destination, but when it does you know you’ve had one hell of a satisfying, sensory, sensation of a ride.

The nose kicks off with all the wonderlicious wonders of homemade marmalade boiling on the hob, just after the sugar has been added but before its managed to dangerously bubble over the side of the pan.

Thick slices of buttered Jamaican fruit bun make for the next set of nasal delights, along with a big bowl full of toasted almonds and pecans that have been drenched in a wave of warm luscious liquid caramel loveliness.

An infused array of winter spices, dark dried fruits and what can only be described as echoes of opulent oak, with a subtle back note of smoke, provide a wealth of backbone and balance to the proceedings.

Just when you think this dram has nothing or indeed no need to deliver anything else on the nose, it dishes up a big wedge of Black forest gateau topped with Oloroso sherry soaked cherries, and accompanied by a dainty cup of Lapsang Souchong tea.

The palate is certainly not backward in coming forward, kicking off with a multitude of sherry soaked fruits and a myriad of sliced orange, clemintine and mandarin peels.

A thick and lusting clove and almost menthol infused toffee sensation then takes hold on the palate, along with another slice of that buttered Jamaican fruit bun, with the addition of a good smearing of that aforementioned homemade marmalade.

The sensation of licking an oak wall panel from an 18th Century country house study kicks off the next set of palatable delights, along with a steaming hot velvety mochachino that’s been topped with a subtle grating of Willie’s Nicaraguan Black 100% cacao.

The finish which is long luscious and lingering, is initially a sweet and thick celebration of all the beautiful, balanced and bountiful delights which have dazzled and delighted the senses, but it then soon evolves into something more dry, spicy and refined with an added addition of something subtly vinous.

It has to be said that unlike some other drams I could mention in the same price bracket, this is most defiantly a case of substance over style.