Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay Master Blender, makes a statement with his candid, gregarious manner. His approach to leading a tasting is as bold and expressive as the scotch he represents; The Dalmore. Affectionately and professionally know as The Nose, Richard introduces newbie whisky drinkers to the exciting world of scotch through humor, touch, sound and taste.
I had the pleasure of attending The Dalmore tasting lead by Richard Paterson this summer at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
His descriptive bravado brought sexy to scotch with every sniff, whiff and wafting. He encouraged explicit techniques for tasting and sampling the scotch; sniffing three times, caress it, do it gently. He often used a deep throaty growl as he allowed the scotch to linger long in the mouth. When asked by someone in the tasting group what the sound was he replied if they didn’t know it, they would most likely never have the pleasure. Laughter swelled throughout the group of course, but this was common throughout the entire tasting.
Maybe I’m mischievous, but there is something sinuous about the way scotch flows from the bottle, swirls lovingly around the bowl of a glass and gracefully falls in trickling tears to a pool of glistening auburn spice. The scent drifts gently, barely grazing the nose, hinting at the treasure buried within its rich luster. It’s no wonder deeply flavored, dark spirits are thought to be the sexy spirits. They contain true flavor, spice, sheen, warmth and retain a certain elegant quality. All of which are among characteristics men and women seek in each other.
The Dalmore 12 Year Old Tasting
Taste: deep, throaty, lush, orange peel, spice warmth, pecan skin, light floral without becoming flowery. Caramel and vanilla rise to the surface in lilting fashion on the nose. Tiniest tinge of barely there sweetness.
Warms the entire mouth. The warmth slinks from tongue to toes. Makes one want to slip into something sleek and inviting, sexy and slinky.
The rest of my tasting notes are quickly jotted notes from the tasting room this summer. They are vaguely complete as I was captivated by Richard Paterson’s engaging personality and often failed to write complete tasting notes as each expression came into play. Each expression is however incredible and worthwhile to sample given the opportunity.
Dalmore 15 Year
Tangerine primary. I get banana, buttery on the nose, extremely light, fragrant, nutty.
Richard Paterson used this expression in an example of whisky and chocolate comparison. Unfortunately the woman sitting next to me in this particular tasting session had already consumed the chocolates from six of the tasting mats in the row including mine before the tasting session began. So I’ll rely on Richard’s description of what The Dalmore 15 with chocolate experience is like…paraphrasing he said to hold the chocolate in the mouth long allowing it to melt. Whisky with chocolate equals multiple orgasms.
Ladies and gentlemen, what’s not to love about that?
Dalmore Gran Reserva
This expression replaced the Cigar Malt. The Cigar Malt was taken off the market due to the fact people really thought this whisky was aged in cigar leaves. A shame really, since the Cigar Malt was such a fine whisky and still sought after by many.
Butter, toffee, spice, cinnamon, sweet
King Alexander III
1990 Dalmore – 6 finishes – 40% alcohol
Implored not to add water to this expression. It’s special. 22 years old. Give it time on the palate.
Light on the nose. Spicy, honey, nutty, floral.
Acquaint yourself with a few items of interest about scotch and where it originates. Richard pointed out that there are 106 distilleries in operation in Scotland. Each distillery location is significant to the outcome or final product of the scotch expression. He began the tasting session with a map defining each area’s terrain and weather with Lowlands as feminine, Highlands as muscular and Islay as salty. These contribute to the flavor profile of the scotch just as the shape of the stills used in the distillation process. The Dalmore uses big fat bulbous stills they refer to as Big Bastards.
www.discus.org – Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Copyright 2010 Cheri Loughlin – The Intoxicologist – All Rights Reserved
All opinions, reviews and spirits’ coverage contained within are the personal opinion and decision of Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist.