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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dallas Dhu 33 year old 1979 Gordon & MacPhail

Welcome to my first and last Dallas Dhu review! The blog has barely even mentioned this deceased distillery. I wish could say something hip like I've always enjoyed Dallas Dhu's underrated single malt, but I can't. This will be only the second Dallas Dhu I've tried; the first one was kinda bleh. Anyway, the distillery was up and around for about 85 years (minus two closings) before DCL shut it down in 1983. It's one of the few dead distilleries that has not been plowed into the ground, and currently serves as a distillation museum in its home of Forres, Moray. Many thanks to Sir Brett of Riverside for this sample!

Distillery: Dallas Dhu
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Ownership at time of distillation: Distillers Company Limited
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Series: Licensed bottling

Age: 33 years (1979-2012)
Maturation: probably a refill something or other
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered: ???
Colorant added: ???

The nose is a bit blank at first. Needs 20+ minutes. Aluminum baseball bat appears first, then steel wool, then anise and cardamom. It starts gaining steam. Peach crumble, caramel, rosewater, pine needles and wasabi. It peaks at 40-ish minutes then starts to fade again.

It has a good mouthfeel, which leads me to think it hasn't been chillfiltered. Like the nose, the palate needs time. It starts out bready, with some caramel and dried apricots around the edges. Then it picks up some bitter greens, copper and a fresher stone fruit sweetness.

It finishes peppery and dusty after the first two sips. Subsequent sips have the fruity sweetness and some caramel. The tannins begin to escape after the final sips.

This surpassed my low expectations, though the whisky needed time to perk up. On the positive side, it has a distinct imperfect old school character, so I'm very glad I tried it. The finish was its weakest element. I'm not sure if a higher ABV would have helped or revealed more issues. It's a bit creaky and bitter, a little fruity but not enough. It's tired, starting to fray near the seams, teetering on the edge of collapse. I can relate to this whisky. I'm an 82 on my best days too.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - Still in the three-figure range as of today
Rating - 82