Time – a relentless, unassumingly powerful force of nature. It pays no mind to what we do, yet we all march to its beat, as it constantly tempers and shapes all it touches.
It is this awe-inspiring understanding of time that Dalmore, producer of some of the finest Highland single malts in the world, seeks to impart with the launch of The Dalmore Decades. The personal selection of master distiller Richard Paterson, it is a culmination of his custody of the exceptionally rare casks the distillery enjoys.
Comprising a series of three unique collections, the exclusive bottlings tell the story of whisky where it intersects with time, all while showcasing their exceptional craftsmanship and Paterson’s relentless pursuit of excellence.
This special release comprises The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection, No.5 Collection and No.4 Collection, with there being only one set of the No. 6 released in the world. Meanwhile, there are only 15 sets of the No. 5 Collection, and 25 sets of the No.4 Collection, available globally.
The one-of-a-kind No.6 Collection was offered on auction at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong earlier in October, and achieved a record sale of S$1.5m (US$1.1). It is now the highest value for a whisky lot sold at Sotheby’s so far in 2021, and represents the most valuable whisky lot ever sold by Sotheby’s in Asia.
[Read more: The Glen Grant 15 Years Old makes Singapore debut]
Singapore was allocated one set of the No.5 Collection, which comprises five bottlings ranging from 20 to 53 Years Old. And while the set was already immediately snapped up by a private collector, it is still possible to get your hands on sets of No.5 and No.4 via retailers like Harrods and Selfridges in London, Wally’s Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles, Le Bon Marché and La Grande Épicerie in Paris, and Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam.
“Over the past 50 years, I have kept a watchful eye over our superlative inventory of rare whiskies, giving them the guidance to mature and reach their full potential in the finest casks sourced from around the world,” says Paterson.
“Each bottle marks a very special milestone in the brand’s history and has a unique story to tell, which I hope the lucky collector will enjoy with those closest to them – if the last year has taught us anything, it is that life is to be enjoyed now. This collection is a memento of our 180-year history in the making. We are proud to share the pinnacle of six decades of whisky making, the result of potential earned and honed over time.”
The No.5 Collection consists of the following bottlings (descriptions are from Dalmore):
The Dalmore Decades 1967 – ‘Expertly Composed Spirit’
An impeccably elegant 53-year-old single malt, laid down in 1967, a landmark year in which the stillhouse as it stands today was created. This single malt provides complex but wonderfully intriguing layers of clementine, tangy ground coffee and muscovado, thanks to its final maturation in a Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine barrique.
The Dalmore Decades 1979 – ‘Curating Exquisite Casks’
This 40-year-old single malt is a tribute to the longstanding relationship between González Byass and The Dalmore. The 1979 has enjoyed maturation in a particularly fine Matusalem Oloroso sherry butt before a final maturation in a Graham’s Port Vintage 1952 – one of Port’s rarest vintages. The resulting whisky is exuberant sultanas and toasted pistachios, finishing in pleasant notes of maple syrup, pineapple, and succulent dates.
The Dalmore Decades 1980 – ‘Unbroken Chain of Visionaries’
The 1980s marked Richard Paterson’s arrival at The Dalmore and his tutelage by the last Mackenzie. Like his predecessor, Richard’s long-standing tenure personifies a commitment to the vision of the distillery established 180 years ago. This 40-year-old single malt takes the traditional maturation of The Dalmore and reverses it: the whisky moves from Bourbon casks into Matusalem sherry butts, then spends more than five years back in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks before bottling – a bold move which brings renewed life and vivacity to the spirit. The 1980 promises beautifully orchestrated single malt layers, which include a gentle whisper of bitter chocolate, marzipan, and cocoa powder.
The Dalmore Decades 1995 – ‘The Creation of an Icon’
The 90s welcomed the creation of an icon The Dalmore’s minimalist bell-shaped bottle, its sinuous curves echoing the voluptuous shape of the stills through which the distillery’s matchless spirit runs. The 1995 is matured in ex-Bourbon casks and finished in spectacular Tintilla de Rota port pipes. It offers a burst of red berries, glazed nectarines, frangipane, and moist pecan pie on the palate, building to a triumphal finish.
The Dalmore Decades 2000 – ‘Into the New Millennium’
At 12:02am on Saturday, 1 January 2000, as the world celebrated the dawn of a new age, workers at The Dalmore were at their posts securing a notable achievement for the Highland distillery: the first in Scotland to run new spirit off the stills in the third millennium, officially witnessed three minutes after midnight. The final whisky of The Dalmore Decades is also perhaps the most distinctive: it has spent all 20 years of its life in a Matusalem Oloroso sherry butt in a radical departure from the distillery’s practice. Rare and intriguing, black maraschino cherry and bitter chocolate drench the palate, and a final kiss of liquorice and tarte tatin ebbs slowly in the background. While it took 20 long years to craft this unique spirit, its exceptional quality can be recognised in a matter of seconds.
Each decanter in The Dalmore Decades features a different and distinctive coloured stopper and the bottles are engraved with an exclusive set number. The set is also presented on a pedestal.