Once more, Tom writes a guest post on some recent discoveries he did. In this case, something truly new: Dalmunach whisky!
Dalmunach was erected on the site of the much beloved yet quite unknown Imperial Distillery. As a whiskynerd interested in the releases by new kids on the block, I bought a few young expressions bottled by Cooper’s Choice. Besides 4 official bottlings and quite a few Duncan Taylor offerings, mainly from octave casks, there is not much Dalmunach around. Both bottled in 2020, one early in the year and one in fall. Let’s have a look!
Peach Parfait – 61% abv – madeira cask finish
The name is well chosen. A sensation of walking among the trees with overripe fruit just waiting to be picked by hungry hands. Peach indeed, but also plums and a hint of strawberry. Underneath these layers I detect new make spirit, a strong malt spirit longing for maturity.
Incredibly subtle, the Portuguese wine has truly enveloped the malt spirit to great effect. Sweet and soft to taste, no bad influence from a rather high strength.
Of course, here the alcohol breaches your taste buds but in a warming, pleasant matter. The departure is deliciously fruity from the wine influences. These kind of fortified wines are sometimes overpowering, but here it serves the distillate very well.
Attractive and already an established product. Seems that the Dalmunach spirit holds its own against a strong cask influence. Let’s test that with the next expression.
Dalmunach Peach Parfait, Madeira cask 9403, 61%, Cooper’s Choice. Available at WhiskyTemple in Germany for € 170
Fruit Basket – 59% abv – marsala cask finish
Wow, a strong breeze of vinegar! Seeing as Marsala is made on Sicilia, one easily thinks of thick, mouthwatering olive oil. I wouldn’t immediately think of fruit. Some flowers emerge after a little breathing. Water helps to uncover red apples. Okay, fruit basket it is.
Damn, nothing left of anything that resembles MALT whisky. A very sweet and overpowering taste. If the objective was to give a very young spirit lots of flavour… mission accomplished Very spicy, sour too, and this underlying feeling of vinegar which puts me off. Water is truly needed to get back to the idea you are drinking a whisky. It cleanses away this offnote just enough.
Quite gentle, even undiluted it is friendly. With water this Dalmunach gets more attractive and you experience a rich fruitiness from juvenile new make malt spirit.
A mighty interesting experiment, too sweet for me but good for at least one hour of playing, sniffing and tasting how it changes all the time. In that regard, something for nerds! Isn’t that what we look for, despite the lower quality score? I am glad I have a bottle, and if you want one too, it is still available at ‘t Bockje in Bathmen.
Dalmunach Fruit Basket, Marsala cask 9404, 59%, Cooper’s Choice. Available at ‘t Bockje for € 70
About Tom van Engelen
I’m a writer in a variety of fields and have a soft spot for whisky, mainly malt, mainly from Scotland. In other times I enjoyed a stint as editor-in-chief of one of the first whisky magazines in the world. When not sipping a good glass I like to write some more, read, watch 007 movies or listen Bowie music. I’m engaged to Dasha, I have a sweet daughter and I live somewhere between the big rivers in the middle of The Netherlands.