Thursday, June 28, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #109

Dalwhinnie 15yo
Highland Single Malt Whisky

43% abv



Some would approach Dalwhinnie and be convinced that it is the quintessential Scottish distillery. With twin pagoda roofs that can be seen from the motorway (A9), isolated in a glen surrounded by mountains, Dalwhinnie is the coldest inhabited settlement (less angel's share lost!) and the highest distillery in Scotland* situated 1073ft above sea level. The name itself also implies a history of whisky trading as Dailchuinnidh (roughly pronounced 'Dalwhinnie') means 'the plain of meetings'; the area was the junction of three cattle droving roads.

The famous distillery architect Charles Doig made some improvements on the distillery after some financial problems put the original owners out of business after only one year of operation. The stills fell silent after a fire in 1934, fired up again in 1938 and then a few short breaks for refurbishment in 1986 and 1992-95. These distilleries are high maintenance affairs!

Dalwhinnie is the 'Central Highlands' selection in the original 6 Classic Malts range (the other Highlander is Oban). It is apparently around the 20th most selling single malt worldwide and #4 out of the 6 Classic Malts. Dalwhinnie finds its way into Buchanan's, Black & White, and Haig blended whiskies.

* - Braes of Glenlivet (Braeval) is actually the highest at 1165 above sea level, but it is currently mothballed so Dalwhinnie holds the title.

Like yesterday, this whisky will be guest tasted by JM... no, not Jim Murray) :

Chocolate chip cookie dough, Caramilk bar, angel food cake, red (cherry
flavored) Kool-Aid

Pleasantly light and sweet, flavor isn't immediate but grows nicely like sucking a Werthers hard candy, powdered sugar, and wood (cherry blossoms maybe), organic peanut butter, homemade rum balls, leaves mouth dry like an Italian wine (a Chianti maybe?)


Satisfactory. Very straightforward, gentle and easy to drink. Starts smooth and sweet but finishes with some definite malt and oak "whisky" characteristics. Nice entry-level whisky but too much like candy for my tastes.

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