What better way to spend an Easter bank holiday than to pair a decent-sized piece of chocolate with a good dram? Luckily I had (a few drams left of) just the right sort of whisky for this occasion – a big, rich, sweet, sherried number in the form of The Dalmore’s Cigar Malt Reserve.
This is the second expression known as a “cigar malt” from The Dalmore, and while I did not have the pleasure of trying the original I understand that this updated expression contains slightly older whisky with a higher proportion coming from Olorosso sherry casks (30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry butts according to the distiller).
There is no age statement on this bottle – always a contentious subject but in my opinion when looking to hit a very particular flavour profile the restriction of an age statement can be a distraction to the distiller. It is said that 10-15 year old spirit is typically found in a bottle of Cigar Malt Reserve.
Colour & First Impressions
Very “Dalmore” – lovely and dark, thick legs.
Richness of fruit cake, cherries and almonds. Sweet notes of caramel and crème brûlée. Hints of forest floor, perhaps an obvious autosuggestion, but a wisp of tobacco leaf.
A lovely creamy mouthfeel that coats the palate, bringing waves of rich deep fruity notes alongside dark, warm spice (cocoa).
Finish & Final Impressions
A long finish where the dark spice notes reach a crescendo of cocoa and roasted coffee beans.
This is what I would describe as a very well-engineered whisky – it has a very definite purpose and achieves the desired flavour profile with aplomb. Well done Richard Patterson!
- 70% Matusalem oloroso sherry butts
- Remainder from American white oak ex-bourbon casks and premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques
- 44% ABV