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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Dalmore 12 year old Sherry Cask Select

Dalmore 12 year old Sherry Cask Select has three more alcohol percentage points and "twice the Sherry influence as the traditional 12 Year Old." The latter quote is from the official site which makes no effort to explain it. Luckily, Mr. Theakson at Drinkhacker reveals that the Select is finished for two years in Oloroso and PX casks.

That a whisky company which prides itself on its fancy sherry casks uses them only to finish all of their standard releases (save some of the oldies) feels very contemporary. Of course, not all finishes are the same, but I'm hoping those two years offer up more than just lip pigmentation.

Yes, you're welcome.

pic pilfered from
Distillery: Dalmore
Region: Highlands (Northern)
Ownership: Emperador Distillers Inc (via White & Mackay)
Range: The Principal Collection
Age: minimum 12 years
Maturation: Round 1: ten years in American oak. Round 2: two years in Oloroso and PX sherry casks
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered? Yes
Colorant Added? Yes
(thank you to Dr. Springbank for this sample from his bottle!)


Orange peel, yuzu juice, toasted almonds fill the nose's foreground, with barrel char, dark chocolate, and stones in the middle, and cherry lollipops in the back. It gets prettier and more floral with time in the glass.

The palate starts on tart cherries, then switches to sugar and tannins. Flower kiss candy appears after 20 minutes, as do small notes of bitterness and smoke.

Though it finishes sweetly, there are fewer tannins here. Blueberries and ginger, then a mellow bitterness.


Like Monday's Port Wood, the nose wins, but here the palate survives the oak, then finishes nicely, resulting in a reliable anytime pour. I have no idea why Dalmore priced this lower than the Port Wood, but it still ain't cheap for a 43%abv 12 year old that wouldn't stand out in a crowd. Then again, is $80 the going rate for daily drinkers now? I hope not. Anyway, this is the best contemporary Dalmore I've tried. So far.

Availability - 
North America, Europe, and Asia
Pricing - $80ish
Rating - 83