Whisky Analysis - Secret Whisky #0013 (Dalmore 18)
Finally the big reveal of 2018's first secret whisky - #0013 was none other than Dalmore 18 year old - a fantastically rich Highland single malt. This one stumped most of our members, with just 23% matching it to the tasting notes - which are all about chocolate, orange, fruits and spices - take a bow L Jones who was the runner up of 2017 and starts the year off strongly. Also serial winner D Ellis and C Haffey guessed right.
We think that what put some members off was a zing of licorice which wasn't mentioned on the official notes, as well as smoke, both of which we'd agree is definitely present - ultimately the Dalmore 18 is such a layered spirit, you can find many, many flavours in it.
This was a high scoring dram, with an average member rating of 7.6 (joint second place in our panel along with Yamazaki 12 and Glenmorangie Bacalta from 2017).
Chocolate flavours described in the Dalmore 18's tasting notes come from both oak tannins provided by the long aging process (which also give the hints of leather) and by more heavily toasted barrels. Spices come from the addition of whisky aged in matusalem sherry barrels. The orange notes come from esters (most likely octyl acetate) resulting from the fermentation.
Dalmore's water, sourced from the Alness river, is full of peat by the time it reaches the distillery, and is used unfiltered, and the distillery uses 2 sizes of still which may contribute to its full and complex flavour.