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Exclusive Invite to The Dalmore X Amex Whisky Tasting Session

 

An exclusive whisky tasting session held by The Dalmore in collaboration with American Express was hosted by Singapore’s luxury airport terminal JetQuay on the evening of 24th August 17. As this event was meant to be cosy and intimate, only 20 participants were invited.

This was the second event that The Dalmore had held in Singapore in the recent months. The previous one was the special 50th-anniversary celebration of their Master Distiller, Mr Richard Paterson.

The evening started off with a dram of The Dalmore 12 years old as fellow whisky geek, Mr Benjamin Tan from Whisky Butler, waxed lyrical on the history of The Dalmore. The esteemed guests thoroughly enjoyed the story of how the 12-pointed Royal Stag came about.

Benjamin also initiated the guests into the process of whisky-making. Whisky is made using only 3 ingredients – barley, water and yeast. There are 5 steps to the whisky-making process.

  1. Barley is malted by soaking it with water and drying them either with hot air or with a peat fire.
  2. The malted barley is milled and then mixed with hot water in a process called mashing to extract the sugar content into a sugary liquid called wort.
  3. The wort is then fermented by adding yeast in a large vessel called a washback. The yeast converts the sugar into alcohol, known as a wash, which is around 8% abv.
  4. The wash is then distilled in different heated pot stills. The heart of the spirt from distillation is then collected for use.
  5. The new spirit is filled into oak casks – for The Dalmore, they use American white oak bourbon casks and exclusively aged sherry casks. The spirit is then left in the casks for maturation.

The guests were treated to a tasting of The Dalmore 15 Years Old after the short introduction. In this segment, Benjamin taught the guest how to taste a whisky. While there is no “correct way” to drink a whisky, it is a good learning journey to find out how we can find out more about a particular whisky by following the few steps below.

  1. Hold the whisky up to the light and observe its colours.
  2. Swish the whisky lightly to open the nose and palate of the whisky
  3. Hold it to the nose and sniff it
  4. Nose it again, this time with the mouth slightly open
  5. Sip the whisky; coat it around your palate and chew on it
  6. Take a bigger sip; hold it in the mouth for a while before swallowing
  7. Observe the aftertaste of the whisky in your mouth

It takes some practice to decipher the flavours and characteristics of the whiskies, but practise it regularly and you will soon get the idea!

The guests had a great time trying the steps above and some of them began to get some tasting profiles by the time The Dalmore 18 Years Old was served. A healthy debate began between some participants with regards to the various flavours they got.

Benjamin took the chance to explain the complexity of whisky and how a dram of whisky could change according to the way a person drink it. He informed the fascinated crowd how water, ice and soda water change the aroma and palate of a whisky. He also shared how the simple act of aeration could change the experience of drinking whisky. Benjamin taught the guests how to differentiate a balanced whisky from an unbalanced one as well.

The crown jewel of the night – King Alexander III was served right after the short but insightful information about the complexity of whisky. Guests were eager to try their new-found skills on the last dram of the night.

King Alexander III is the pride of The Dalmore’s Master Distiller, Mr Richard Paterson. Nicknamed as “The Nose”, it was said that he could smell anything in a dram of whisky! An interesting fact was “announced” by Benjamin – Mr Richard Paterson’s nose is insured for £2.6 million!

As Benjamin introduced Mr Richard Paterson to the guests, he also mentioned about his 50th-anniversary celebration in Singapore and the exclusive Dalmore 50 Years Old. The guests got so excited that they requested for a taste of this exquisite liquid. Alas for them, the beautiful liquid was not available that evening. Nevertheless, they were not disappointed with King Alexander III as Benjamin put them through the tasting process again.

A group photo was taken right after the tasting session ended, and guests were invited to mingle with Benjamin and the rest of the staff.

WhiskyGeeks had the chance to mingle and speak with the guests as they lingered around in JetQuay after the event. We spoke to several guests, all of whom said it was a wonderful evening.

One particular enthusiastic guest, Mr Joel, commented, “Please tell The Dalmore that this was the best whisky tasting session that I had ever been to! Most of the other tasting sessions were conducted in uncomfortable chairs and freezing conditions. Tonight’s session was conducted with comfortable armchairs, food and wonderful whisky! I also liked the way Benjamin presented the history of The Dalmore. There was so much information that I could take away.”

Another participant, Mr Steven, said that he is not a whisky drinker. However, his son is an avid supporter of whisky, so he helped his son to collect some of them. He mentioned that he had never heard about The Dalmore before, but now that he has, he would be trying more. Mr Steven bought 4 bottles that evening – the 12 YO, 15 YO, 18 YO and King Alexander III.

We also spoke to Mr Larry, who is an avid fan of The Glenlivet. He prefers older aged whiskies and dislikes peaty ones. He has not tried The Dalmore before, as he prefers to stick with what he likes. However, he likes the King Alexander III and showed his support by buying a bottle home. He also said, “The Dalmore is pretty sweet and is something that I like. I will be trying The Dalmore more often in the future!”

Before the guests left for the evening, WhiskyGeeks managed to catch hold of Dr Jimmy just as he was filling in his purchase form. He is a regular Dalmore drinker, having tried not just the 4 bottles offered that evening, but also The Dalmore Cigar Malt. Dr Jimmy was delighted as he said that the presentation helped him to understand The Dalmore better as a brand and also as a drink. He bought a bottle of the 18 YO. “It is my favourite expression. I am buying yet another bottle even though I already have more than one at home.” He quipped, laughing as he filled in his credit card details for the purchase.

It was indeed a wonderful evening filled with laughter, enjoyment and a transfer of knowledge from Benjamin to the invited guests. We certainly hope that The Dalmore will host more events in the future to share their wonderful liquid gold with more whisky drinkers in Singapore.

More About The Dalmore

The Dalmore is founded by Sir Alexander Matheson in 1839, in the Scottish Highlands. A restless entrepreneur and international businessman, Sir Alexander Matheson wanted The Dalmore to go above and beyond in creating luxurious single malt whisky.

For over 100 years, The Dalmore has continued to realise Sir Alexander’s dream by creating an unbroken chain of exceptional whisky through their whisky makers. Mr Richard Paterson, their current Master Distiller, is one of them. For nearly 50 years, he is the Master Distiller at The Dalmore, creating luxurious and much-coveted whiskies for the community. He is the man who, together with The Dalmore, created a category of super luxury single malt, that continues to impress the world up till today.

 

 

Whisky Review #16 – Tasting The Dalmore 50 Years Old

We just have to share this! Remember that we posted an article sharing the event of Richard Paterson’s 50 anniversary in the whisky industry? Well, what we did not tell you is that WhiskyGeeks was given the rare chance to have a taste of The Dalmore 50 Years Old whisky! This expression is released to celebrate Richard Paterson’s anniversary so all the numbers associated with this bottle have 50 in them, including the price! Launched at £50,000, up to 50 crystal decanters made by French crystal expert Baccarat and housed in cases made by furniture producer Linley will be hand-filled to order. Each bottle will also come with a solid silver stag, designed by silversmith Hamilton & Inches.

This limited edition was matured in American white oak, Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks from the Gonzalez Byass Bodega, and Colheita port pipes from the Douro region of Portugal, before it was finished for 50 days in rare casks from Domaine Henti Giraud.

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Amber
ABV: 40%

Nose: Typical Dalmore Nose – Orange chocolate with lots of fruitiness! Extremely elegant and refined with sweet oak and red cherries, melons with papayas and peaches too! Hints of overripe pears with notes of cedar wood with elegant violet flowers note came through after a while. Felt like a very dark red longan tea!

Palate: All we can think about was WOW…Orange fizz! A warm sensation of menthol replaced the usual expectations of alcohol when we sipped this precious liquid. The mouth is filled with so many dried fruits – sweet plum with dried apricots and dried longans! We can taste some orange chocolate too!

Body: Perfectly well-balanced whisky that is extremely easy to drink. The fruitiness of the whisky covers the spice of the alcohol and what comes through is a very pleasant note of menthol.

Finish: A medium and warm finish that reminded us of juicy fruits! Perfect for any occasions.

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    Whisky Review #11 – The Dalmore King Alexander III

    We have briefly introduced the history of The Dalmore in a separate post and King Alexander III was very much linked to the origins of the distillery. Considered the crown jewel of The Dalmore principal collection, this special creation by Master distiller Richard Patterson is the only single malt in this world that combines the greatness of six different casks. Yes, that’s right.. SIX! Other than the brand signature American white oak and Matusalem oloroso sherry casks, he added in spirits from Madeira, Marsala, Port pipes, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The result? A complex, yet smooth single malt – a true showcase of the Master distiller’s lifetime experience and creativity.

    Awards:

    International Wine & Spirit Competition 2017
    Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

    World Whiskies Awards 2014
    Silver  – Highland Single Malt No Age Statement

    International Spirits Challenge 2014
    Silver – Distillers’ Single Malts 12 years and under

    International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014
    Silver Outstanding – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

    International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013
    Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

    Tasting Notes:

    ABV: 40%

    Colour: Deep Mahogany

    Nose: Signature of Dalmore, the malty sweetness can immediately be captured. This is immediately followed by subtle aroma of fresh flowers with notes of berries. A slight spiciness ends it all. (15 points)

    Palate: A complex palate of sherry and berries first captures the taste buds. Subtle tastes of chocolate and zesty orange follows, with a bit of spice. (15 points)

    Body:  A well-balanced whisky. It is worth noting that the spiciness comes after the fruity flavours and it’s not over powering, similar to the 18 year old edition. (33 points)

    Finish: The sweet fruity finish lingers in the mouth, with hints of chocolatey taste, and spice. (18 points)

    Total grade: 81 points

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      Whisky Review #10 – The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

      The Dalmore Cigar Malt was created by Richard Patterson due to his love for whisky and cigar. A third cask was added into their usual two in the maturation process – the premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques. This innovative combination of spirits from three different casks produces a fine whisky with rich flavours and is perfect for pairing with cigars.

      There was actually an older edition that was discontinued in mid-2009 and it caused a huge uproar among the cigar-smoking fans. This ‘new’ edition is slightly different from the discontinued one as it is now made up of slightly older whiskies.

      If you are a cigar lover, you might be awed when you find out the flavour benchmark for pairing this whisky – Partagas Serie D No. 4!

      Awards:

      International Wine & Spirit Competition 2017
      Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

      International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014
      Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

      International Spirits Challenge 2014
      Silver  – Distillers’ Single Malts 12 years and under

      Tasting Notes:

      ABV: 44%

      Colour: Golden Amber

      Nose: The distinctly sweet toffee aroma catches our attention immediately. Shortly after comes the smell of charred oak, ending it all with a slight spice. (14 points)

      Palate: The sweetness of toffee fills up the palate, followed closely by burnt caramel. Strong nutmeg spice envelops the mouth as the whisky stays longer. (14 points)

      Body: Good balance between the nose and the palate, making it a well-rounded whisky. The sharpness of the spice is cushioned comfortably by the sweetness of toffee and perfect integration of sherry and wine casks.  (34 points)

      Finish: The finish is medium, with a lingering sherry oak sweetness. (15 points)

      Total grade:  77 points

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        Whisky Review #09 – The Dalmore 18 Years Old Whisky

        This is an upgraded version of The Dalmore 12. This award winning 18 years old edition is matured 14 years in American white oak ex-burbon casks, and the last 4 years in 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. The extended maturation and wood exposure creates a more well-rounded finish with a lusciously creamy and sherried body.

        Awards:

        International Wine & Spirit 2017
        Silver Outstanding – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

        International Spirits Challenge 2014
        Silver – Distillers’ Single Malts between 13 and 20 years old

        International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014
        Bronze – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

        International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013
        Bronze – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

        Tasting Notes:

        ABV: 43%

        Colour: Copper Bronze

        Nose: A distinct smell of pine gushes out followed by a strong fruity sweetness, ended by a slight pleasant spiciness. (13 points)

        Palate: Sweetness of chocolate raisins immediately engulfs the palate with slight hints of plums. As the whisky stays in the mouth longer, notes of coffee and vanilla appears and ends with peppery spiciness (17 points)

        Body:  A well-balanced whisky. It is worth noting that the spiciness comes after the fruity flavours and it’s not over powering. (33 points)

        Finish: Long fruity finish with slight taste of citrus. (18 points)

        Total grade: 81 points

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          Whisky Review #08 – The Dalmore 12 Years Old Whisky

          This is the entry level of The Dalmore series. Aged 12 years old, this whisky from the Highlands spent its first 9 years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks. Half of the spirit is then transferred into 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks for the final 3 years. These spirits are then married together for bottling. What results is a rich and beautiful single malt because of the added maturation in sherry cask – a bold process in making a 12 years single malt.

          Awards:
          International Wine & Spirit Competition 2017

          Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

          Tasting Notes:

          ABV: 40%

          Colour: Golden Amber. Unlike other 12 year old whiskies, The Dalmore 12 years has a darker hue, due to the 3 year maturation in sherry casks.

          Nose: The sweetness of caramel fudge floats to our nose the moment the bottle is opened. Strong vanilla with a hint of citrus follows after. (15 points)

          Palate: Hint of spice hits the tongue before the sherry sweetness takes over. Thick and velvety smooth feel with delicate citrus notes. (15 points)

          Body: A well balanced whisky that is velvety smooth. Easy to drink, suitable for after dinner. (32 points)

          Finish: A medium-long finish that is slightly dry; sweet with toffee notes and a hint of vanilla. (18 points)

          Total grade: 80 points

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            History of The Dalmore

            The distillery of The Dalmore is housed in Alness, some 32km North of Inverness. It is located at the banks of the Cromarty Firth overlooking the Black Isle.

            Legend of The Dalmore

            The Dalmore sits on a legend that dates back to 1263, where Colin of Kintail, the then Chief of the clan Mackenzie, acted in good faith to save King Alexander III of Scotland from a charging stag during a hunt. Colin of Kintail killed the stag with a spear in its forehead, shouting “Cuidich ‘n’ Righ” – Gaelic for “Save the King” as he struck the killing blow. The grateful king awarded Brave Colin the lands of Eilean Donan and the motto “Luceo Non Uro” which means “I Shine, Not Burn”. Colin of Kintail and the clan of Mackenzie were also granted the right to bear a 12-pointed Royal Stag as their crest.

            Establishment of The Dalmore Distillery

            The distillery of The Dalmore was established in 1839 by entrepreneur Alexander Matheson. He searched for the perfect location for his distillery, but he wanted something that was different from the others. Not willing to give in to creature comforts in Speyside, where many other distilleries were located, Matheson strived to find the perfect location in which the best natural resources could be used to make the finest whisky. He finally settled on the isolated area at the banks of the Cromarty Firth, in full mercy of the harsh winds from the North Sea. On this wild uninhibited land, Matheson built everything from scratch – from warehouses to railways. This uniqueness of its founder is the reason that The Dalmore continues to have its own unique character and taste up till today.

            The Mackenzie took over The Dalmore

            After running The Dalmore for 28 years, Alexander Matheson wanted to pass the distillery to new owners in 1867. At this time, Andrew and Charles Mackenzie took over the helm of The Dalmore, gifting the iconic 12-pointed Royal Stag emblem to the brand. Their passion for creating exceptional whiskies fuelled a whole new era in the history of The Dalmore. That passion stands up till today, where Master Distiller Richard Paterson continues to create exceptional whiskies for The Dalmore.

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              Richard Paterson – Whisky Legend of The Dalmore Celebrates 50 Years in the Industry

              24 May 2017 marked a very special day for whisky connoisseurs in Singapore and the surrounding region as Richard Paterson from The Dalmore graced his presence for a whisky-tasting event held in Singapore. It was held in conjunction with Richard’s 50 years’ anniversary in the whisky industry as well as the introduction of the King Alexander III whisky by The Dalmore.

              Richard Paterson is well known as the greatest whisky maker of his generation. He is the Master Distiller at The Dalmore Distillery in the Scottish Highlands and has spent the last 50 years of his life creating some of the most coveted whiskies around the world.

              Richard has been nicknamed as “The Nose” by the whisky community because of his remarkable ability to use his sense of smell to access and understand the structure of whiskies. His unusual approach to the art of whisky making boost him into a celebrity amongst whisky lovers all over the world. Whiskygeek, of course, is a fan as well!

              Richard’s career has been nothing short of extraordinary. He was recognised by Whisky Magazine in the 2013 World Whisky Awards with an Icons of Whisky Lifetime Achievement Award. The magazine also entered him into their Hall of Fame – a permanent tribute to individuals who have made lasting contributions to whisky.

              At the event held on 25 May 2017, Richard shared his life passion with his fellow whisky lovers through the tasting session. Participants were given 4 different whiskies from The Dalmore, namely The 15 Years, The 35 Years, King Alexander III and The Quintessence. Richard shared many things, amongst them, how to taste and appreciate whisky. He even tried to teach the audience how to smell the whiskies just like he does!

              Many whisky fans were overjoyed at his charismatic approach and his friendliness appeals even to the most introverted fans. Richard also took many pictures with his fans and welcome them to visit him in The Dalmore Distillery whenever they can.

              More on The Dalmore

              The Dalmore is founded by Sir Alexander Matheson in 1839, in the Scottish Highlands. A restless entrepreneur and international businessman, Sir Alexander Matheson wanted The Dalmore to go above and beyond in creating luxurious single malt whisky.

              For over a 100 years, The Dalmore has continued to realised Sir Alexander’s dream by creating an unbroken chain of exceptional whisky through their whisky makers. Richard Paterson is one of them. For nearly 50 years, he is the Master Distiller at The Dalmore, creating luxurious and much coveted whiskies for the community. He is the man who, together with The Dalmore, created a category of super luxury single malt, that continues to impress the world up till today.

               

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