New Whiskies

Batch 14

by
Batch 14 whisky line-up

On Dave Broom’s tasting radar this week: an aged Dalmore duo, a brace of indie Bunnahabhains, plus a new addition to the Benromach line-up and the latest Arran limited edition.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Dalmore 21 Years Old

    Dalmore 21 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    42%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose
    Quite malty for Dalmore, and that cereal thing carries all the way through, alongside huge, thick, Sherried elements: old bodegas, ripe black fruits, a whiff of blue cheese and then overtly Sherry-driven (rather than cask-driven) elements: raisin, walnut, rich chocolate – and then the malt returns.
    Palate
    Thick, with some latte coffee. Quite fat (this is Dalmore, after all). The tannins are there, but subtle. A note of baked vanilla is mixed in with those super-ripe black and dried fruits. Water makes it quite dry, but the hedonistic mid-palate carries on.
    Finish
    Softens, then dries lightly.
    Conclusion
    A (relatively) limited edition aimed at existing Dalmore fans.
    Right place, right time
    If Margaret Dumont was a whisky…

    Dalmore 30 Years Old

    Dalmore 30 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    45%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose
    Richer, but also more structured than the 21-year-old, showing a stewing cherry note, then blackberry and apple pie, rhubarb crumble, then chocolate ganache on top of light nuttiness. Heavy and scented, with some bitter orange and a tiny peach note in the background.
    Palate
    Big, with supple tannins and very ripe fruits, but it still has distillery character, which just shows how massive that base spirit is. A lovely bittersweet element emerges, linking Seville orange, blueberry syrup and raisin.
    Finish
    Menthol, currant leaf and raisin.
    Conclusion
    This isn’t a glossy Dalmore, but one with structure and depth. Even the price doesn’t seem outrageous in these days (or am I just getting inured to it?).
    Right place, right time
    Overdosing in the 'Great British Bake-Off' kitchen.

    Benromach 15 Years Old

    Benromach 15 Years Old
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    43%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose
    Lovely, open nose with light raisin, woodsmoke, malt loaf, raisin bread. In time, a lovely sweet cereal lift akin to wet draff note, then oven-warm Dundee cake.
    Palate
    Big and quite oily/chewy. Hints of cigar box, light Sherry. Deep in the middle, but clean and zesty towards the back. Water brings out citrus.
    Finish
    Clean with a pleasing bite.
    Conclusion
    Well-balanced, old-style Speyside dram. A hugely welcome addition to the range. Recommended.
    Right place, right time
    Returning to the farm kitchen at harvest time.

    Bunnahabhain 10 Years Old Small Batch (Cadenhead)

    Bunnahabhain 10 Years Old Small Batch (Cadenhead)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    57.2%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islay
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose
    A smoky and slightly lean Bunna’ with a light plume of cigarette smoke and mineral elements, then hints of hidden depth and some of the signature ginger – powdered in this instance. Opens with water, which brings out bonfire ashes, mash and Neoprene.
    Palate
    Sweet and really bright start. The mineral/briny note is the main character when neat, so do add water to give a bit more silkiness, some cereal and the light smoke.
    Finish
    Gentle and clean.
    Conclusion
    The smoke might be less obvious than in some OBs, but the overall effect is a better balanced dram than many of them. A little more on the nose would help, but this is a wee cracker.
    Right place, right time
    A bracing dip into the Sound of Islay.

    Bunnahabhain 25 Years Old (Duncan Taylor)

    Bunnahabhain 25 Years Old (Duncan Taylor)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islay
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose
    Quite sensational nose, aromatic and complex with a little touch of rose petal, hints of apple, dried mango, beeswax, nutmeg and sourdough crust. Everything you want from a mature whisky. Much more mulled apple juice as it opens. Becomes sweeter with water.
    Palate
    Sadly, the palate is a let-down with too much dry oak taking charge. Even water fails to shift its grip.
    Finish
    Tight, dry and oaky.
    Conclusion
    Worth buying a dram just to sniff it.
    Right place, right time
    Hansel & Gretel’s realisation that they’ve been tricked.

    Arran The Bothy

    Arran The Bothy
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    55.7%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islands
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose
    Clean, sweet and intense (which you’d expect, given the strength), but also sweet and well-balanced (which you’d hope for). Fresh, with candied lemon peel, light cereal and yellow banana skin. It does scream out for water, which brings out a note of Fox’s Party Rings (orange icing) without losing any of that intensity.
    Palate
    Quite estery when neat – pineapple and banana to the fore, with hints of the boost given by quarter cask, alongside a gently smoothing creaminess. When reduced, has real depth while – and here’s what elevates it – the more volatile elements are released to play around it. In other words, it has complexity. Now you get more strawberry, orange chews, bluebell and a little oak.
    Finish
    Clean and lightly acidic.
    Conclusion
    The latest in Arran’s Limited Edition series that’s been aged in refill, then finished in American oak quarter casks. It’s a cracker. Snap it up.
    Right place, right time
    Afternoon tea round at Doris Day’s.
Scroll To Top