The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve
I am not a big Cigar smoker, and i rarely smoke, But sometimes i do fancy a cigar, and pairing it with a whisky is a task one has to give thought to. Pairing a delicate whisky with a powerful cigar can kill that whisky, and although it’s true that smoking a cigar does change how your whisky feels (no matter which whisky you choose) it sometimes changes it in a good way, so I find.
Now, The Dalmore cigar malt was a very popular whisky among cigar aficionados, and after burying the brand three years ago (and calling it Grand Reserva, Why?!) The Dalmore is introducing the Cigar Malt Reserve.
When asked about this expression Richard Paterson Master Distiller for the Dalmore commented : “Many of our fans were disappointed when the old Cigar Malt left the range in 2007, so we set about creating an even better whisky that would allow those fans to experience a great single malt that has been specifically crafted with cigar pairings in mind.”
The Cigar malt reserve is aged in three type of casks : Oloroso Sherry , American Oak , and premier Cru Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques. The whisky itself comes with NAS but it is said to be made of whiskies 12-14 years old.
Paterson continues: “This whisky provides cigar and malt fans with an incomparable experience and succinct pleasure. It’s a great match to a number of cigars but I would highly recommend enjoying it with a Partagas No2 Cigar as in my opinion the flavours work in perfect harmony together.”
My Cigar education is somehow lacking, as I’ve mentioned before, so I will have to take Richard’s word for it, and try this sometime when i get hold of a good cigar.
Cigar or no cigar, i chose to taste the whisky sans cigar,and allow for the natural profile to be expressed rather than be masked by the cigar notes. So here we go:
Nose: A lovely melange of some Oranges, Dark chocolate , marzipan and almonds, a clear sherry and wine influence . A bit of cinnamon sprinkled above all and some vanilla too.
Palate: Starts of bitter sweet with hints of dark dry fruits, then orange peel, dark chocolate, toffee and wee hints of tropical fruit (banana) and peach. some wood, but a wee smoke hint to it too.In addition there is an earthy feel to it, and a sort of stewed plum compote, remnants of the wine cask and sherry influences.
Finish : Spices, Orange peel, coffee and plum marmalade.
Considering the 44% ,this one is a very good and quite complex dram that will give any Cigar a fight! I can see how coupling this one with one might be just perfect. As for pricing : I do think that a 14 year old whisky, at 44% bearing no age statement, should cost a bit less. Now let’s see how the cigar aficionados like this one, and if they are willing to pay an additional extra.
Score : 85/100
Official sample provided by The Dalmore