The Dalmore Collection

You know you’re in for a special evening when world-renowned luxury malt whisky maker The Dalmore invites you to sample from their fine collection. 

Dalmore Whisky Tasting at Black+Blue-2

Located on the northern shores of the Firth of Cromarty, deep in the spectacular Scottish Highlands, The Dalmore Distillery has been producing exceptional single malt whisky since 1839, and houses some of Scotland’s more precious and rare whisky stocks.

Dalmore Whisky Tasting at Black+Blue-1

A bottle of The Dalmore 62 Sinclair sold in 2012 in Changi Airport, Singapore, for $194,000, making it the most expensive bottle ever sold in retail.

The result of over 150 years of craftsmanship and 45 years of careful coddling, The Dalmore Constellation Collection – 1960’s Decades Set, a collection of four of the world’s rarest single malt whiskies, launched last week at the BC Liquor Distribution Branch’s (BCLDB) flagship Signature liquor store at 39th & Cambie Street in Vancouver. The beautiful hand-blown crystal decanters are engraved with the year of distillation, age and cask number and include a solid silver royal stag, Dalmore’s official emblem since 1867.

The 60s Collection includes:
– Vintage 1964 (Cask 09/693) – aged 46 years, 1 of only 35 bottles released
– Vintage 1966 (Cask 7) – aged 45 years, 1 of only 41 bottles released
– Vintage 1969 (Cask 14) – aged 42 years, 1 of only 39 bottles released
– Vintage 1969 (Cask 1) – aged 43 years, 1 of only 35 bottles released

A group of local media had the chance to dine inside one of Black+Blue’s private rooms last night, where Dalmore’s Director of Rare Whisky, David Robertson, introduced us to five Dalmore whiskies from the Principal Collection — The 12, The 15, The 18, The Cigar Malt Reserve and King Alexander III. With a family history in the whisky business, Robertson’s been at The Dalmore for four years, and works closely with Master Distiller Richard Paterson.

The Dalmore Constellation Range
[The Dalmore Constellation Range]

The small, Speyside distillery produces a modest 100,000 cases per year — half of Scotland’s working distilleries are located in this region of the country. According to Robertson, Dalmore’s advantageous coastal location allows for slow and mature whisky aging.

Dalmore looks to balance age, harmony, intensity and complexity within its whiskies, using sherry casks from Southwest Spain as well as American white oak barrels. Most casks aren’t filled more than a few times, and Dalmore has the privilege of being the only distillery to get to use those sherry casks, imparting a unique spice and sweetness.

The Dalmore 12,15, 18

While The Dalmore 12 has a butterscotch aroma and a spicy sweetness to it at the mouth, The Dalmore 15 begins to feel a bit thicker in the palate with citrus and spice. The Dalmore 18 imparts coffee and chocolate qualities as the denser whisky contains more alcohol concentration.

The Dalmore whiskies

The Cigar Malt Reserve is named after its sweetness, to help counteract the smokiness of a cigar. It’s bottled in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels at 44% alcohol content for that deep and smooth flavour. Finally, the King Alexander III has red berry and passion fruit aromas with vanilla, caramel, and almonds at the palate.

It was a unique experience sipping these whiskies, ranging from young to old, and then returning to sniff the younger 12 again (what a sweet toffee-like scent!). Some of their stocks are very rare, dating to 1868.

Dalmore Whisky Tasting at Black+Blue-3

Single malt whisky is also considered the new luxury spirit; Dalmore is ranked among the top 25 fastest-growing global malt brands by International Wine and Spirits. We were surprised to learn that Taiwan is currently the third-largest single malt whisky market in the world.

Another note regarding collectability of these rare whiskies: Almost 70% more money was spent at auction last year over 2013, proving that in a volatile stock world, investors are looking to acquire alternative assets.

Collectors sometimes purchase the Constellation vintages per decade, sets within a decade, or on rare occasions, the entire 21-bottle range.

Dalmore Whisky Tasting at Black+Blue-4 European sea bass, smoked eggplant, grilled lemon, sesame crisps

The evening married good food, whisky tasting, and education as we learned about the types of casks, ingredients, and process that goes into whisky-making. A three-course meal paired with Mission Hill wines was prepared by Black+Blue’s culinary team.

Chocolate Marquise, hazelnut fueltine, raspberry sorbet

The cap to the evening was a chocolate Marquise filled with hazelnut fueltine and finished with homemade raspberry sorbet and a cookie underneath, providing the perfect opportunity to find a favourite whisky and savour it in between bites of rich chocolate and nuts, both complementary flavours in the whiskies.

For more information on these magnificent whiskies, visit The Dalmore online.

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