For a brand that’s already released a $450,000 collection of its finest and rarest whiskies, raising the bar can’t be easy. Thankfully, the Dalmore’s master distiller, the legendary Richard Paterson, can always be counted on to find something extraordinary amid the stocks of whisky aging in the warehouse. Paterson, who’s celebrating his 50th year in the industry this autumn, is marking the occasion by giving whisky connoisseurs an anniversary present. The Dalmore 35 is an extraordinary single malt that’s been aged in three types of casks—ex-bourbon barrels, 30-year-old Matusalem (sweetened Oloroso) sherry casks, and vintage 1970 Colheita port pipes. The combination of the bourbon, sherry, and port influences is uncommon—and delicious, imparting flavors of tropical fruit, coffee, and baking spices. The sherry’s raisin notes and the port’s rich, dark fruit flavors are there, of course, but they’re not overwhelming; this is a beautifully balanced whisky.
The packaging befits the rarity of the spirit—an elegant wooden case houses a hand-blown Baccarat crystal decanter with the Dalmore’s 12-point stag emblem emblazoned in sterling silver. Bottled at 80 proof (40 percent alcohol by volume), only 1,000 bottles of the Dalmore 35 will be released worldwide per year for the next five years, at a suggested retail price of $5,500. It could be seen as a capstone to Richard Paterson’s half-century career in whisky, but he shows no signs of slowing down or tempering his ambitions. The mouth waters at the thought of how he’ll commemorate future anniversaries. (thedalmore.com)