Bought: Tesco, 8th October 2015
84.55/100 – Whiskybase (average from 22 member votes)
Dalwhinnie, the quiet distillery. You don’t get many distillery releases but what they do produce is excellent (except for the ‘Winter’s Gold’ and the less said about that the better). There are 37 distillery releases listed on Whiskybase and 18 of these are versions of the ‘Distiller’s Edition’ (DE) over the years. Ratings range from between 83.5/100 to 85.5/100 with one or two outliers. Interestingly the classic Dalwhinnie 15yo scores 81/100 (from nearly 800 votes) and this little beauty scores 95/100 in the Whisky Bible. Hmmm!
In the video below, Captain Whisky gives us his opinion of the DE compared to the standard 15yo release. He scores the 15yo higher with 15/20 versus the DE’s 14/20 (mostly based on price, which is a reasonable comment). Nevertheless he says both are very drinkable, which is what you’d expect from such a distinguished distillery. In his review he reminds me that both whiskies probably contain colouring and are chill-filtered. Naughty Dalwhinnie! One of these years I must find a version that’s raw and natural. Sadly Whiskybase only list 18 independent releases of Dalwhinnie, so finding one could be quite a challenge.
For future reference, I don’t know if the ‘DE’ Captain Whisky is reviewing is the same version as mine but it’s Oloroso Sherry Cask so likely to be very similar.
Posted in Dalwhinnie
Tagged 1992, 43%, 70cl, Dalwhinnie, Distiller's Edition, Highland, Highlands, NAS, Oloroso Sherry Cask, Single Malt, Tesco
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:
Acquired as a gift many years ago.
95/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
90/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – Dalwhinnie 15yo – YouTube