…And if you hold your glass in the palm of your hand to warm it, I will kill you.
Only one of the ‘standard’ jokes from a Richard Paterson masterclass. He came to The Hague this year to be at the Dalmore stand on its tour to world domination, or something like that. They are gaining some ground with marketing and newsworthy ridiculously expensive whiskies.
He also gave a few Dalmore masterclasses mostly based around the Dalmore King Alexander III. A Dalmore single malt blended from casks with 6 different finishes: Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bourbon, Marsala, Madeira and Methusalem Sherry. From these six finishes he brought 4 in their pure form, as 18 year old cask samples. That made my heart race!
Tasting whiskies is nice, but tasting stuff that you can’t normally get in the shop is always cooler. Unfortunately, the session was a bit delayed and Mr. Paterson had to rush through everything in 75% of the time. Normally this would not be much of a problem, albeit that those four cask samples were all at cask strength, from 56% to 59%. Hard work…
Dalmore 1992 Methusalem Sherry finish
Very heavy and an incredible sherry layer on top of it. The whisky is strong enough to shine through, luckily. Lots of wood, leather and marmalade with some candied orange. The flavour is sweet and nutty, heavy with almond and spices.
Dalmore 1992 Madeira finish
A lot smoother with soft apple, stewed pears, vanilla, butter and in the end some cherries. The flavour was thick but had something crisp to it. Quite sharp and a little drying with spices again. The finish was sharp and light with some caramel.
Dalmore 1992 Marsala finish
This one had caramel, fudge and vanilla, some sweet flowery scents. Quite old fashioned.
Dalmore 1992 Bourbon finish
Vanilla and citrus fruits with lemongrass. A full bodied dram that dries a little on the tongue, quite sharp but very, very good. Some caramel and butterscotch on the palate.
Dalmore King Alexander III
Incredibly complex is my first thought. Nutty, with marmalade, almonds. The palate was a bit lighter than the nose and quite dry, with lots of red fruit. The finish is long and complex with lots of nuts and apple. A very well balanced whisky, and all samples I tasted before added something to it.
Now we’re talking! On the nose soft fruits. Also slightly dry with soft apple and some spiced wood. The palate continued this trend and added more spices and a bigger sherry influence. A nice build-up in flavour. The finish showed smoothness with chocolate and fruit.
In the end he also put the Shackleton sample in front of us, but that wasn’t really integrated in the rest of the masterclass, and since I still had quite the day ahead of me, I skipped that one.
Best whiskies of this masterclass? The 1978 and the Bourbon wood cask sample. Both five stars!