Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

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
  • Non-chill-filtered

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