Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

I had another dram of Dalwhinnie 15 year old last night, probably because the Cragganmore from the night before got me onto a Diageo Scotch kick. Dalwhinnie, you will recall, is the Highlands representative in Diageo's Classic Malts series. This is a bit anomalous, though, because the Dalwhinnie distillery is located in the watershed of the River Spey and is relatively close to some other distilleries that are classified as Speysides. However, back before there was an extensive road network, one of the principal routes from the Western Highlands to the east was via the Glen Spean, which terminates close to Dalwhinnie. So maybe classifying Dalwhinnie as a Highland malt makes sense. Of course, these geographic classifications are really a poor method of bringing order to the chaos that is single malt Scotch because there is such tremendous variation in the character of malts produced within these geographic regions. Heck, there often is a tremendous variation in character in different malts produced at the same distillery.

In any event, Dalwhinnie is very good. The shoulder label says that it's "The Gentle Spirit", and that's very true. There's a gentle waft of peat, and the palate is all honey and malt. If you don't like this, there's not much hope that you'll like any Scotch that isn't aggressively peated.

(As an aside, Spec's also has a significant discount on the Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition, which was finished in Oloroso Sherry butts. I'm sure it is very good, and I'm sure that I will be forced to buy it at some point.)

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