This is the first Dalmore in my collection. After trying it (and quite enjoying it) at London whisky bar, I picked up a bottle from the duty-free store on my way out of Heathrow.
Dalmore released a 2nd edition of the Cigar Malt called the Cigar Malt Reserve in 2011 after the 1st release (just called Cigar Malt) was discontinued in mid-2009. The Cigar Malt Reserve has a higher alcohol by volume than the original release, at a new ABV of 44%. Don’t be turned off by having the word cigar in the name, no part of the aging process involved cigars or tobacco.
While it is a NAS bottle and Dalmore doesn’t provide much information on the content, it is believed to be a rich mix of expressions roughly between the 12 and 15 year mark, with 70% coming from the Matusalem Oloroso sherry butts. Supposedly the content from the sherry butts is a significantly older expression which drives up the price of the Cigar Malt Reserve from the original release. The remaining content is 20% American white oak ex-bourbon barrel aged and 10% ex Cabernet Saugivnon barrique aged. This rich mix of expressions makes itself apparent in the palate and finish of this great dram – whether paired with a cigar or consumed by itself.
Typically this dram is found easily in the travel-markets, but can be found in the US at some liquor stores with a good selection of whisky.
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask Type: Matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks (20%) and 30 year old Matusalem Oloroso sherry butts (70%); finessed in Premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques (10%)
Age: NAS (~12-15 years, possibly some older content)
Chill Filtered: No
Color Added: Yes
Glass for Review: Glencairn
Nose: Starts off a bit floral then transforms into leather and warm spice. After sitting for a few minutes, the nose becomes less floral and more like walking into a Patisserie, sweet mix of cake, toffee, caramel, and butter cookies.
Palate: Lots of toffee and caramel, some chocolate notes. Burst of spices, nutmeg, cinnamon. Just a touch of sherry finishing off the well balanced dram
Finish: Long lasting toffee with hints of chocolate covered oranges. Even a hint of licorice or menthol?
Overall: This is a decent sweeter malt, it’s like dessert in a glass making it a great night-cap. It seems to get better after sitting for 10 minutes. While not quite as complex and smooth as the Glenmorangie Signet or Dalmore King Alexander III it is a pretty good dram. I haven’t paired the Cigar Malt Reserve with a cigar yet as it stands on it’s own, but I may try it in the future to see how well it pairs.
Average Price: $150-170USD