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Stogie Spirits: Dalwhinnie 15 Year

7 Oct 2008

Chances are, if you enjoy a drink from time to time, you’ve had one made by the Diageo. The largest spirits company in the world owns such varied brands as Guinness, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Gordon’s, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Bushmills, Cuervo, Goldshlager, and Baileys. And their Scotches include single malts and blends from every scotch-producing region of Scotland, including Johnnie Walker.

But being owned by a multi-national conglomerate doesn’t mean you can’t produce a fine single malt scotch. Case in point is the Dalwhinnie 15 year, a fine example from the Highland region. According to its website, geography (the distillery is the highest in Scotland) plays a central role in the scotch Dalwhinnie produces:

“The source, Lochan an Doire-Uaine, (Gaelic for ‘lake in the green grove’), lies at 2,000 feet in the Drumochter Hills. From it, all the pure spring water used in distilling Dalwhinnie flows over rich local peat through Allt an t’Sluic, the distillery burn. No other distillery may use the water from this source—therefore no other distillery is able to yield Dalwhinnie’s uniquely clean, accessible, malty-sweet taste, giving way to a smooth and smoky Highland mouthfeel.”

Marketing hype aside, I find this is indeed a sweet accessible single malt. The nose is sweet with some watermelon notes, and the color is a light and golden.

On the palate, the Dalwhinnie 15 has plenty of peat and smoke. There was also malty sweetness with some oak, almond, and spice. The finish is long and sweet with just a touch of heat to remind you that you’re drinking an 86-proof spirit.

Like most fine scotches, this will pair magnificently with cigars. The wood and sweetness of the Dalwhinnie would make a cedary cigar an excellent choice. I paired it with the Cuban Ramón Allones Specially Selected and it worked perfectly.

Other cigars that should go particularly well are the Partagas Spanish Rosado, the Montecristo Petit Edmundo, the EO Cubao, or the Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label. A riskier pairing, but potentially with a high upside, would be a maduro to match the Dalwhinnie’s sweetness.

Ultimately, no matter which cigar you go with, or even if you pass on the cigar all together, the Dalwhinnie 15 Year single malt scotch will be an excellent choice.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Dalwhinnie 15 Year”

  1. Padronnie Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    Is that an Opus X chili pepper in the photo? When will we get a review of that?

  2. xjvpastor Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    just picked up a bottle tonight!

  3. Montecristo Robastos Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    One of the best whiskey.