Singlemalting #243 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 19 – Dalmore 12 Year Old

Day 19 dawns with an independently bottled (by Secret Spirits) Dalmore 12 Year Old aged in a 1st fill Oloroso cask. So we get to cross off yet another distillery on the list. Still many more to go and some that are going to be neigh unattainable as an indie bottling. Would it be cheating if we just threw a mini of something? Don’t worry that will never happen. Although there are some bottles you can find on the shelf from time to time they are few and far between and always still represent well put together independent bottlings.

Dalmore Distillery

Dalmore has a very interesting history that started way back in 1263 when the chief of Clan Mackenzie saved the King of Scotland from a charging stag. The Dalmore distillery was founded in 1839 and sold 28 years later to Charles Mackenzie who brought with him the Stag crest earned all those generations before. The 12 pointed royal stag has been the emblem on every distillery bottling of Dalmore ever since. For years only the 12 year old was available until 3 different age statements were added to the market. The Secret Spirits single cask will be interesting to compare with the regular Dalmore 12 that is made up of 100’s of casks at a much lower abv.

I have been so looking forward to day 19 and hope this Dalmore delivers some surprises.

Secret Spirits Dalmore 12 Year Old – Highland – Oloroso 1st fill cask # 702099A – 57.2% abv

Colour:          Tarnished copper.

Nose:              Gingerbread house, complete with gum drops and that drizzled icing used to decorate the windows and doors. Every year that I venture to Ontario to spend time with my wifes family there is normally the tradition of making one of those Gingerbread kits. One year we all ante’d up and got a really high end kit with truly amazing gingerbread and top notch decorative accompaniments. This reminds me specifically of that particular gingerbread house. It was rich, slightly soft and super delicious. I might have gained a few pounds that year and eaten most of it over the course of a week. I let this one sit for a while in my Glencairn and am getting some beef Stroganoff with sour cream over al dente penne. Mmmmmm this whisky is just smelling delicious. Righteo lets dive in.

Palate:         The complex and layered meaty element is there along with a spicy sweetness. At 57.2% I feel I want to leave it completely alone and not add any water. A sticky dense balsamic character chimes in and then some chocolate, dark high cocoa chocolate. The Ginger is still there but taking more of a backseat and the spice is turning to sweet.

Finish:          Finishes with poached ripe pears and ginger butter sauce with a citrus twist.

Super delicious. If the regular Dalmore 12 was anything like this I would always have a bottle on my shelf. Alas at 40% the regular offering is a shadowy version of this single cask.

On day 19 in our 5th edition we had an Islay bomb from A.D. Rattray, Williamson (Laphroaig).

You owe it to yourself to always and everyday find yourselves watching our guest Youtubers at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig reviews.

Tomorrow we are taking a ferry to Islay but this time as requested we are bringing the peat and the sherry together.

See you then whisky freaks.




  1. Jessie Voisin says:

    The only Dalmore I’ve had was the King Alexander II but as you state it was 40% ABV. I find the regular lineup to be overpriced. After trying this higher proof version it tempts me to buy a regular Dalmore 10 or 12 and spike it with some unflavored high proof moonshine or vodka to see what happens

  2. Jeff Endrizzi says:

    Wow, I really enjoy this dram…the complexities without burn or anything overpowering the tongue…a hint of anise…and candied ginger. Where does the savory come from? Bravo.

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