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Best of the Best 2013: Spirits: The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

This year saw the release of a fuller-flavored version of the original Dalmore Cigar Malt, which was introduced in 1998 but taken off the market a few years ago, much to the chagrin of its cigar-smoking creator, The Dalmore’s master blender Richard Paterson. The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (www.thedalmore.com, $108)—a refined vatting of 10- to 15-year-old single malts that reflects the current popularity of richer, fuller-flavored cigars—was aged in 30-year-old Matusalem oloroso-sherry butts, ex-bourbon barrels, and premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon barriques from the Saint-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux. This regimen produces a single-malt whisky that burgeons with citrus and red-fruit flavors, as well as vanilla and spices.