Dalwhinnie ‘Winter’s Gold’

Bought: Morrisons, 10th August 2015

95/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
76.38/100 – Whiskybase (average from 106 member votes)

After yesterday’s blog about Port Ellen today we have a Dalwhinnie NAS (non-age statement), the new ‘Winter’s Gold’. It’s the sublime to the ridiculed but there are some good NAS bottles out there. Sadly this Dalwhinnie doesn’t sound like one of them. Reviews aren’t very favourable and the standard 15yo is a hard act to follow. Not that I see the ‘Winter’s Gold’ being a replacement for the 15yo because you’re meant to put this novelty whisky in the freezer prior to drinking (and get in there with it?!).

Because new releases of Dalwhinnie are rare I made the stupid mistake of rushing out and buying this one at full price (£37). It’s now on offer in Waitrose for £25 and Morrisons for £27. With a lowly rating of 76.55/100 on Whiskybase, this should really be its normal price rather than a discount. It would be even lower than 76.55 if one of the voters wasn’t a troll giving 96/100 with a username that sounds like a member of staff from the distillery.

Comments by Whiskybase reviewers include “a ton of marketing and the freezing part doesn’t do it any good at all. It’s a very good middle-of-the-road whisky, which should be taken as a mixer. Buy something else.” But another review is more favourable – “pleasantly surprised by the edition. Nice nose, where I also get the slightest hint of peat smoke, which doesn’t appear in the taste, but reappears in the finish.”

Update 29/10/16 – I’ve added the 95/100 rating from the latest Whisky Bible 2017 by Jim Murray that classifies this Dalwhinnie as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”. Heavens! Mr Murray certainly doesn’t believe in being influenced by any other thoughts or reviews. He says about the taste “something about the Johnnie Walker Gold about this: there is a clarity to the malt, the citrus and vanilla which reminds one of the air when looking far away into the mountains on a cool winter’s morn.” And summaries with “whichever blender came up with this deserves a pat on the back”.

For a video review and more insight, here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com:

Dalwhinnie Winter's Gold NAS 70cl

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