Dalmore 15 y.o. Review

Dalmore 15 y.o.085

40% abv

Score:  87.5/100


I’ve yet to find one, but I’d love to try a Dalmore with a few years on it that was matured in nothing but refill hogsheads, free from any sherry or wine influence.  I think it would be brilliant to experience the naked spirit and see how it suits my palate. 

Dalmore puts out rather intriguing and complex whiskies but, in all fairness, they’re rather adulterated and there’s a lot that can be massaged with the sweet notes of sherry or wine.  I’m more than ok with this, as I do love nicely sherried drams, but it’s simply the nature of my curiosity and whisky nerdery that I’d relish the opportunity to see this malt a little more…exposed.

This is Dalmore at 15 years.  A rather decent way along the path to maturity.  The whisky here is deep and interesting already, bearing the hallmarks of nice spirit/wood integration and the great mellowing influence of time.  Aged in 100% sherry casks (matusalem, apostoles and amoroso apparently), this is sweet, as you’d expect, but sweet in a rather moderate way.  It has a great natural home preserves sort of quality about it.  Deep red macerated fruits, ‘jammy’ is the term we usually use, are front and center, but the creamy nature of notes such as chocolate, caramel and custard temper any tendency to overpower with tangy fruits.

The strength here is in the nose.  Palate is good too, but the nose definitely scores an extra point.

Nose:  Pepper and florals.  Caramel.  Quite wine-y.  Hint of raspberry coulis and other bold dark fruits; some dried and some fresh and jammy.  Coffee.  Lemon and orange.  Chocolate covered strawberry cream.  Fresh, but mellow, unlit tobacco.  Creamy custard.

Palate:  Wines are right up in front.  Rather tannic.  Bittersweet chocolate.  Orange, as expected.  Dries into woods and wine notes.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

8 thoughts on “Dalmore 15 y.o. Review

  1. Robert

    Finally some Dalmore reviews! Just kidding! I appreciate your hard work nosing and tasting them all. I’ve stayed away from the Gran Reserva since it was supposed to be repacked CM (eehhhh), but I may reconsider now. It think I can still find a bottle of Castle Leod, but I’ll pass on the expensive KA III (I got the same vial as yours packaged with the 15).

    The 15 is still the one I’d get considering price vs quality. In fact I now have 2 unopened spares, something I usually only do for Ardbeg, Lagavulin and HP. In a HTH, I’d have to give GF 105 a point more, but something about drinking malty chocolatey dark dried fruit is very appealing to me.

  2. Peter Benkoczki

    How about some Dalmore Rivers Collection thoughts? I can get the Spey Dram, but i wasn’t impressed with the standard 12 yo…

  3. Robert

    You have Dalmore 18 as malt of the day, but no review. Does this mean one is coming? Anyway, you’ve reminded me it’s the time of year to pick up Dalmore 15. Nice sherried variation from my regular GD15, GF105 and Mac CS for those cold winter nights. Need to get an HP18 too and with all the peaters I have stashed, I’ll be ready.

    Don’t forget the 18 review!

        1. ATW Post author

          Hi, Peter. I will get there. I promise. That bottle is currently on loan to a friend right now. If there’s any left I will try to prioritize for the curious few.


  4. Robert

    Has anyone on here had a recent bottle of the 15. I’ve got the urge to pick one up, but haven’t bought one in over 2 years. However, as slowly as it moves off the shelves here, it’s probably the same batch. It’s quite cold and snowy, and I’m in the mood for some dark fruit sherried scotch! Still $80 here.


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