For many whisky companies, travel retail (or duty free for consumers) has become the place to release interesting and deliberately different bottlings.
In the past couple of months, there’s been the Highland Park Warriors and The Balvenie Triple Cask selections, to name just two.
Now, The Dalmore has launched its Valour in travel retail, following up from last year’s first editions of the Constellation Collection which was originally debuted exclusively at Heathrow Terminal 5.
This release has been named after the valiant efforts of one of the members of the Mackenzie clan (later, the owners of The Dalmore) who saved King Alexander III from a runaway stag. The family was granted a Royal 12-point stag for their coat of arms by the rather happy king, and that stag is what you’ll find on each bottle of The Dalmore.
Made from a blend of three cask finishes (namely: first fill ex-bourbon casks and 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry butts married together and finished in port pipes) the new whisky comes in at 40% ABV and costs £50.
I was sent a wee sample (found in that rather pretty box, above) and have had a chance to try it. Here’s what I thought:
The Dalmore Valour: 40% ABV: £50:
(N): Buttery brown sugar, sticky cooked apples, cooked golden raisins and sticky toffee pudding to start – rich all around. There’s also something musty (in a good way) that makes me think of a fur coat, stored with oranges. With water, more of a nutmeg and orange blossom note emerge – it’s still rich but with a bit more lift.
(P): Starts out rounded and fruity (cooked fruits) then moves to a lovely burnt brioche note – it’s slightly smoky but with a bready sweetness. With water, it didn’t hold up too well for me. Some of those lovely rich notes and layers dissipated too much for my liking.
(F): Orangey cardboard.
In summary, this is a rich, gooey and wintery dram that goes through a great set of layers when tasted neat. I’d not, personally, dilute it again as I enjoyed it much more without water. A valiant bit of drammage indeed.