Translate Caskstrength!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Hello World, We're Back! The Dalmore 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Ahhhh, it’s nice to be back in front of the computer writing for fun. Not that all the writing we do isn’t fun, but there is something liberating about writing a piece for this site which doesn’t require a word count nor a deadline!

Recently you may have noticed a slight, erm, scarcity to the level of posts we’ve been penning. Never one to shirk away from our duties, our eyes, hands, ears and, most importantly, taste buds have been kept busy in a different direction, finishing off a book (a proper physical one with paper pages and everything) due out next year and meddling with this wee beast: 

But here we are again, back in the game and ready to bring you some tasty wee morsels in the lead up to Christmas.

And a bloomin’ good job too as the samples are piling up on our desk here at Caskstrength HQ. So, what better way than to kick this week off with than a new release from Whyte & Mackay.

As I sat down to write this piece, my inbox pinged with news from leading drinks industry fact-mongers Just-Drinks. It informed me (and the rest of the world, too) of what Diageo, now ‘owners’ of Whyte & Mackay, were planning to do with the host of whisky brands acquired since their take over earlier in the year of then Indian-owned United Spirits.

Until everything is confirmed about who the parent company will eventually be in this liquid custody battle, refereed by the Office of Fair Trading, the folk over at W&M have been busy expanding their core range of The Dalmore, adding to the already existing 12, 15, 18, Cigar Malt Reserve and excellent King Alexander III (our personal fav) with a 25 year old offering.

We first tried this new release about two week ago when the sample arrived in our office. Dave Broom had popped in to say hello ahead of the annual IWSC dinner where he was to be bestowed with his much deserved Communicator of the Year award (well done, Dave), but we didn’t get a chance to really sit with the whisky, take notes and savour the whole experience, so we were looking forward to a quite time when we could really relax and give this new experssion our full attention.

So what of theliquid? Well, once fresh from the stills, this Dalmore was matured in American white oak casks before being divided into Palomino Fino sherry butts and first-fill bourbon casks. Once matured, the whiskies were married together once again into bourbon barrels before finally being transferred into Tawny Port pipes from Portugal.

Quite the international journey for a humble Scottish spirit! It sounds complicated, but nowhere near as complex as the King Alexander, which is a blend of Dalmore matured in French wine casks, Madeira drums, Sherry butts, Marsala barrels, Port pipes and Bourbon barrels. Over complicated? Not in the case of the King Alex, but let’s see how the 25 year old fares...

The Dalmore – 25 Years Old – 3000 bottles only – 42% abv – RRP £600 Available here or here

Nose: Toffee fudge is the first note to rise from the glass, followed by some marzipan and strong bergamot. These orange notes develop in a rich marmalade smothered on hot toast. With a hint of water tropical fruits come through.

Palate: Rich and rounded, the bergamot flavours take the driving seat with burnt sugar, toasted almonds and a hint of black pepper and cinnamon spices on top. Very rich mouthfeel With water the whisky opens up a little to give all the previous flavoured a much more rounded and sweet tone. Personal preference, at the risk of being chastised by The Dalmore’s Richard Paterson himself, is with ever such a small drop of H2O.

Finish: The spices and dried orange peel tingle away at the back, but with water this is rounded off for a more subtle, quite frankly, delicious.

Overall: A unanimous decision here in the Caskstrength office that this is, wait for it, “a really excellent whisky”. A great way to get us back in the swing of things, as we head towards the prime whisky drinking time of Christmas and the New Year.

Monday, 11 November 2013

It's Arrived!! 3D Whisky Hits The Shops... & The Cinema

Sorry for the slightly enforced silence for the past two weeks, folks. We haven't been slacking off, just beavering away on making sure that today, 11th November, is well and truly in Three Dimensions.   

That's right folks, our next instalment in the Alphabet Of Whisky has arrived and 3D is now available to order from Master Of Malt, priced at £49.99.   

In case you missed our ceaseless promotion for this new whisky, we think 3D is a real groundbreaker.  Daluaine, Dalwhinnie and Dufftown distilleries all bought together in one bottle -  a first in this capacity. Each bottle is individually numbered (and hand signed) and comes kitted out in a 3D label, courtesy of our great friend and designer, Dave McDougall  coming with a pair of old school 3D glasses too.

But on the back, you can scan in a QR code that takes you to, where you can download a unique sleeve for your bottle, that can be printed out by the marvels of a 3D printer.  If you haven't got one, then all is not lost.  Simply visit iMakr, our 3D printing partners and their 'Mini Factory' can get the job done for you!  

To get you in the mood, here's a short film we made about the whisky's creation.  Inspired by 3D masterpieces of cinematography such as Jaws 3D and the mighty Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (not in 3D but brilliant, all the same), we chart the fateful day when 3D was bought to life... 

Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid...

We hope you enjoy this as much as we did making it.  Special thanks must go to Neil Edwards, the man behind the camera and to our co-star, Sarah Brown for such a sterling effort in front of the lens.

Here's our tasting notes for 3D... let us know your thoughts!

Caskstrength & Carry On - 3D Whisky - 56.4% -504 bottles

Nose: Some candied fruit hits first, with fresh pears, ripe plums and orange peel giving the nose a layer of zestiness. Next comes a hint of white pepper, nutmeg spice, vanilla and nutty milk chocolate.
Palate: A dustiness arrives, with charred oak, leading into a very subtle floral note, more orange peel, creamy malt and lemon meringue pie. The fruits of the nose are concentrated, with plums, sour cherries and more vanilla. Water brings out floral notes of white lilies, elderflower and nectarines.
Finish: Lingering notes of orchard fruit honeysuckle, green apple and subtle oak.

Slainte... and buy 3D... ;-)