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Review: The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (2021) and Vosges Chocolates

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Dalmore’s Cigar Malt Reserve is a whisky that has by no means absolutely resonated with me since its relaunch in 2011, its excessive use of sherry placing me off a bit. The recipe seems to have modified considerably since our final full evaluate 10 years ago, with Dalmore now describing it thusly:

The spirit is initially matured in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks, yielding smooth vanilla and honey notes. A proportion of the liquid stays in ex-Bourbon casks while the steadiness is apportioned between the best Gonzalez Byass Sherry casks, beforehand holding 30-Yr Previous Matusalem Oloroso Sherry, and Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques. The three kinds are then expertly introduced collectively to completely mix their distinctive traits and flavours.

I obtained a pattern of a current bottling — together with goodies from Vosges designed for pairing particularly with the dram. Extra on these later; let’s begin with the whisky.

Maybe the identify performs thoughts video games on you, as a result of it does come throughout as smoky. Not peaty, however with extra of a chimney soot and creosote character within the combine. Sherry absolutely overloads the nostril — right here displaying as leathery and dense, with tons of incense and a raisiny, plum pudding character that nearly evokes a little bit of a Port affect. The palate once more pours on the sherry notes, dense with outdated oloroso character, brooding and austere and, one may recommend, insistent {that a} cigar be concerned on this expertise. Burnt orange peel lingers on the tongue because the whisky opens up, with notes of Christmas spice, well-oiled wooden, and a delicate fragrance character that layers in dried however vague floral notes. The end reprises the whisky’s smokier components, with extra citrus lingering — and a contact of darkish chocolate.

All advised, it’s a daring and aggressive whisky, so come into it with open expectations that your senses will probably be a bit battered from begin to end. Finally I’m undecided to what diploma the recipe for Cigar Malt Reserve has shifted over time, however no matter’s been accomplished to it, I’m a a lot larger fan than ever.

The chocolate pairing ($45 for five gigantic bombe goodies, 62% cacao, full with gold flake on high) works properly sufficient with the whisky — however whisky and nearly any chocolate all the time are likely to go properly collectively. The chocolate is sort of fruity, the crystallized orange peel within the combine just a little on the overwhelming facet, so it’s greatest in small bites — that are greatest achieved by carving off items with a knife, slightly than your enamel. Nonetheless, for novelty worth alone this makes for an ideal add-on in the event you’re already gifting somebody a bottle of Cigar Malt.

88 proof.

A- / $160 / thedalmore.com  [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (2021)

$160

Ranking


9.0/10

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