The Dalwhinnie 15. Dalwhinnie distillery has the highest elevation of any distillery in Scotland. Situated 354m above sea level in an area where the average temperature does not pass 16 C and -2 C. It is owned by beverage giant, Diageo and marketed as part of the Classic Malts range. It is known as the Gentle Dram and rightfully so. A Highland malt with a Lowland personality and a touch of Islay. It uses the local spring water during the making of the whisky but does not process its own malt.
I bought this in Changi DFS back from my trip to Bali for a whooping SGD$91.40. I had a hard time choosing between Dalwhinnie 15 and the Scapa 16. The Scapa and Oban, in its slick looking hard tin packaging was right there staring me in the eye to buy it back rather than the Dalwhinnie 15 in its cruddy old box. The box still disturbs me to this day when I hold it and goes soft and flaplike a cardboard box in the monsoon season. When I returned home, I downed a glass of my sad, sad purchase alongside a Stella Artois before crashing in for the night. Luckily, it did not turn out to be as bad as I’d imagined when I revisited it again with Jo. Though the box…that box… Let’s move on.
I personally prefer Lowland malts as they bring a crisp and refreshing palate. Most of the common aromas associated with the Lowlands are fresh cut grass, meadows of heather or flowers and fruit orchards. The sweetness is something else. Not so cloyingly sweet as a sherry-cask matured whisky but good enough to satisfy the sweet tooth, somewhat like the honey aloe-vera liang-teh . Its like stepping into the countryside without the travelling and getting to sample all the fine fruits in the orchards. Another really good example is the Glenkinichie 12 which I will touch upon another day.
Now, to the tasting!
Appearance: Light Golden, similar to Hay. Quite thick and clings but returns quickly.
Nose: Mainly Honey, a Tinge of Oak, Very Aromatic and Creamy. Heather is very prominent. Floods your senses with them fruity smelling benzenes. Reveals raisins, nectarines and apricots. Some custard, caramel and ends with some smoke.
Mouth: Long initial. Creamy Honey and Heather. Like drinking thick nectar with a nutty touch of hazelnuts or walnuts. Moves quickly to the fruits ( I am guessing nectarines and apricots), vanilla and a spicy touch of cardamoms. Ends long in smoke, heather and some spice.
TL:DR, A fine whisky. To me, this is an 8.5/10. Sweet and approachable. Does not rush you and ends well. A whisky for Lowland lovers who likes the occasional peat and an excellent introductory single-malt to people used to drinking only blends. You should buy this if you want to experience a Highland malt with a Lowland character that comes with enough peat to keep you satisfied.