“It took careful maturation – in three different woods over a 35-year period – to release the full potential of this whisky,” says master distiller Richard Paterson of the venerable Highland single-malt whisky maker’s limited-edition The Dalmore 35 (£3,500, see first picture), available from October 7. Paterson, considered a “walking whiskipedia”, has overseen production of 1,000 bottles of the satinwood and amber-gold whisky – each in a specially made Baccarat crystal decanter (see second picture) bearing The Dalmore’s royal stag emblem, encased in a sleek wooden box.
The casks – a distillery-run bourbon barrel, a Matusalem sherry butt and a Colheita port pipe – create a rich whisky with notes of crushed almonds, coffee mousse, soft liquorice and gingerbread, as well as a palate of dark treacle cake, freshly ground Java coffee and banana bread with a finish of roasted chestnuts, raisins and orange peel.
“You cannot rush the whisky, you must take time to ensure you get the best possible results,” says Paterson, who is celebrating 50 years in the business this year. “My role is to bring out the flavours within our whiskies and often bring different casks together to work in harmony to create a perfect fusion.” For the lucky few, his latest single-malt mission has been accomplished.