A core part of Diageo’s Classic Malts series, Dalwhinnie represents the Highland Region.
One of the highest distilleries in Scotland, Dalwhinnie is found in the Strathspey area, one of the coolest parts of the British Isles. First founded in 1897 by industry legend James Buchanan, it was a crucial part of the Buchanan’s and Black and White blends. Dalwhinnie literally translates as “meeting place” – as this was where cattle farmers and whisky smugglers would meet.
Surprisingly, whilst Dalwhinnie likes to brand itself “the gentle spirit”, they actually produce a rather heavy new make, with worm tubs and less copper contact in the stills. As Dalwhinnie is so cold, the new make condenses very quickly, giving a heavier style.
This weighty spirit requires a longer maturation to fully express itself, and Diageo can be commended for maintaining this 15 year old bottling whilst other offerings have crept down the age scale.
The final result is a wonderfully sweet and light dram, with notes of melon, sugared malt, a little faint heathery smoke and honey, peppery spice, white peach chocolate, creamy coffee, apples, hay, pears, sweet vanilla, walnuts, faint cinnamon and flowers.
Often recommended as an introduction to Scotch whisky, this is both sweet and complex.
Nose: Malt, toffee, aromatic herbs and honeysuckle. Fruit: mango, apples and pears. Slight smoke.
Palate: Apples and pears. Malt and heather honey. Gentle smoke. Walnuts, allspice and light oak.
Finish: Malt, honey, toffee and flowers.
Overall: It certainly lives up to its billing as "the gentle spirit". Clean, crisp simple flavours. An ideal daily drinker.