The Scottish highlands are known for a variety of things; their rugged hills and mountains including Ben Nevis, the highest in the UK, fantastic nature and well preserved wildlife, the all-but-sparse flow of naturally crisp and pure water, but perhaps more than any of those it is known for, you guessed it, fantastic whisky.
The highlands region is home to a host of distilleries including Oban, Glenmorangie, Glenturret and of Dalmore – which is the distillery we’ll be focusing on in this post. More precisely, I’m going to introduce you to their quite unusual King Alexander III, and I really do mean unusual. The process that gives it its flavor is not unusual in itself, though they’ve gone rather further than average in a certain, and for this whisky crucial, element of the production; selecting their casks.
Dalmore King Alexander III (henceforth DKA) is matured first in a various wine and fortified wine casks (such as Oloroso , Madeira and Cabernet Sauvignon), then moves into Port casks and finally it is left to rest in casks that have previously hosted Bourbon. Each of these casks leaves behind a certain element of flavor that will later combine to make DKA a chocolaty and biscuity (I’m pretty sure I just made that word up) experience.
For those of you who enjoy a smoky, earthy, whisky this probably isn’t for you. In fact, it is quite different even from the rest of the Dalmore range.
Eye: Brings to mind amontillado sherry.
Nose: Almonds, fruity (plums), toffee, vanilla and a hint of chocolate.
Taste: This is where it differs the most from your average whisky – it actually tastes like a blend of dark chocolate, biscuit (malt) and a hint of plum. An interesting blend of flavors, and it both feels and tastes pretty luxurious. If you like both sherry and whisky, you’ll love this. The one downside is that it is pricey, so you may be better off buying the cheaper 15 year old.