My partner in crime and I attended The Dalmore whisky masterclass with Dalmore ambassador Adam Knox on 14 October 2016 at Mantra Bar & Lunge in Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur. The exclusive affair was for a number of selected guests of Luen Heng F&B (the distributor of The Dalmore in Malaysia) and customers of Mantra Bar.
Leading the masterclass was The Dalmore ambassador Adam Knox who was specially flown in for the occasion. Arriving at the venue early, I managed to have a good discussion with Adam regarding the state of single malt whiskies globally which included the direction of the industry which has evolved from the 90’s and 2000’s.
The whisky industry has gained tremendous popularity especially in East Asia in the last decade or so starting with the commercial blended malts like Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal, slowly moving towards single malt whiskies whereby bigger commercial brands like Macallan and Glenfiddich are well knows. However in the past two to three years, the trend is slowly shifting to more niche brands such as The Dalmore as more and more whisky drinkers explore the world of single malt whiskies, trying whiskies from various regions in Scotland such as Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands, Islands, Islay and Campbeltown. Consumer are even trying non-Scotch whiskies like Yamazaki, Hibiki and Nikka from Japan, and Kavalan from Taiwan.
All this bodes well for the single malt whisky and in some places demand is actually outstripping supply leading to certain distilleries producing non age statement whiskies like Monkey Shoulder and Naked Grouse which don’t rely on the fast depleting stocks of aged whisky expressions. All this points to some exciting times ahead for this centuries old spirit.
The Dalmore’s whisky maturation process is completely unique with many expressions of The Dalmore matured in two types wooden casks: American white oak ex-bourbon casks and exclusive aged sherry casks from renowned sherry maker Gonzalez Byass.
We got to taste the following whiskies from The Dalmore portfolio:
AROMA – Citrus fruits, chocolate and aromatic spices.
PALATE – Citrus, oloroso sherry, vanilla pod.
FINISH – Roasted coffee and chocolate.
This was so lovely and creamy on the palate. Well balanced and oh so easy to drink! Great with ice or a splash of water too.
AROMA – Orange marmalade, cinnamon and nutmeg.
PALATE – Mandarin, vanilla, ginger
FINISH – Christmas spice and oak.
Another smooth, well-rounder and easy to drink variant albiet with different flavours than The 12. This was my favourite!
AROMA – Vanilla, dark chocolate, orange
PALATE – Dark chocolate, candied citrus fruits, rich coffee.
FINISH – Citrus fruit, oak.
The 18 is rich, bolder and more robust in taste. Not for the faint hearted and definitely for the more advanced whisky drinker!
Cigar Malt Reserve
AROMA – Cinnamon, vanilla and red fruits.
PALATE – Tropical fruits, banana toffee and vanilla ice cream.
FINISH – Orange zest, bergamot.
This specially crafted whisky is made to be the perfect accompaniment to cigars. The whisky is matured initially in American white oak ex-bourbon casks and 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry butts, then finished in premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques.
This one is made to go with cigars. So I’d recommend not buying one unless you have a cigar to go with it.
King Alexander III
AROMA – Red berry fruits, fresh flowers, passion fruit.
PALATE – Citrus zest, vanilla pod, creme caramel.
FINISH – Sweet cinnamon, nutmeg.
Legend has it that in 1263, Colin of Kintail, Chief of the Clan Mackenzie, fearlessly felled a charging stag which attacked King Alexander III of Scotland who had fallen off his horse. In return for saving his life, the grateful King gifted the 12-pointed Royal Stag emblem to the Mackenzie Clan as a reward. When descendants of the Mackenzie Clan took over the ownership of The Dalmore distillery in 1867, they continued to honour this brave act and proudly put the 12-pointed Royal Stag on the bottle. To this day, the Stag still adorns each and every bottle of The Dalmore.
The Dalmore is distributed by Luen Heng F&B in Malaysia, and is available in selected bars and entertainments outlets as well as specialty shops throughout Malaysia. More info at http://www.luenheng.com/