I recently had the opportunity to taste four bottles of The Dalmore, a collection of single malt scotches distilled in Alness, Scotland since 1841. Somehow eluding me over the years, my first experience with The Dalmore was long overdue.

The Dalmore Single Highland Malt Whisky Collection is matured in a wide range of spirits and wine casks which, along with other factors like age and climate, contributes to the flavor of each malt. The Dalmore malt whiskies range in age from 12 years to the very exclusive 62 years. I tasted the 12-Year, Gran Reserva, 15-Year, and 1263 King Alexander III.

The Dalmore 12 Year Old
The signature flavor of this award-winning 12-year malt comes from marrying select whiskies matured in 50 percent American white oak and 50 percent Oloroso Sherry casks. The appearance is deep gold with aromas of citrus and almonds, plus a subtle hint of chocolate. The taste is a pleasant combination of citrus, sherry and spice, offering the most heat of the Dalmore lineup, as befitting the youngest malt. The finish is moderate in length and distinguished by subtle flavors of oaky vanilla.

Proof: 40 percent Alcohol by Volume
Price: $45

The Dalmore Gran Reserva
The Dalmore Gran Reserva is a lively expression of malt whisky derived from the combination of 60 percent sherry wood and 40 percent American white oak-aged malts ranging from 10 to 15 years of age. The appearance is soft gold to mahogany and the bouquet is primarily citrus. The flavors of malt, marmalade, roasted coffee and dark chocolate combine to create a distinctive, complex character. It finishes with citrus and a light touch of peat.

Proof: 40 percent Alcohol by Volume
Price: $65

The Dalmore 15 Year Old
A popular, award-winning malt, the 15 Year relies heavily on its wooden casks infused with three rare Sherries. The appearance is mahogany, with aromas of citrus and spice. The taste is well-balanced, with citrus flavors coming to the front and a long finish of Sherry wood, imparted from the casks.

Proof: 40 percent Alcohol by Volume
Price: $80

The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III
This tasty scotch combines aged malts matured in a range of wooden casks, including French Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels, Kentucky bourbon barrels and port pipes. United by Master Distiller Richard Paterson, the result is a deep, rich spirit. The color is deep amber with reddish highlights. The aroma is complex with citrus, floral and oaky notes that evolve over time. The taste is even more complex, as each style of cask comes through in the flavor. Flavors include citrus, almonds, berries and vanilla, among others, and the finish is absurdly long.

Proof: 40 percent Alcohol by Volume
Price: $200

Final Thoughts
Overall, The Dalmore collection is surprisingly unintimidating and boasts a very inviting flavor profile. The range of malts should appeal to veteran scotch drinkers without alienating those new to the spirit. From the young 12 Year to the daring 1263 King Alexander III, each expression goes down smoothly while still offering plenty of oomph.

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