By Alfieyah Abdullah
The Dalmore Decades’ three unique collections – the No.6 Collection, No.5 Collection, and the No.4 Collection – tell the story of the masterful craftsmanship that comes with each exceptional single malt whisky.
We all have our toys. Some have a penchant for watches, or cars. Maybe even fashion. However, a whisky showpiece is not far behind the serious collector’s mindset.
There are only 15 sets of the Dalmore Decades No.5 Collection globally, and Singapore was allocated one of them. The collection contains five masterpiece Decades’ whiskies representing milestones in the whisky brand’s journey: 1967, 1979, 1980, 1995, and 2000.
The Master Distiller of The Dalmore Distillery, Richard Paterson, personally selected and culminated the exceptionally rare casks in which the No.5 Collection originated from. The set defines a 180-year history and is considered the pinnacle of six decades of whisky making.
It is only apt that the journey begins with the 1967 ‘Expertly Composed Spirit’, an impeccably elegant 53-year-old single malt which marks the landmark year of the stillhouse.
Complex and intriguing layers of clementine, tangy ground coffee, and muscovado soon move into a flavourful burst of sultanas and toasted pistachios with the 1979 single malt. This 40-year-old whisky has enjoyed a luxurious maturation in one of Port’s rarest vintages: a Graham Port’s Vintage 1952. Its final maturation provides a pleasant mouthfeel with notes of maple syrup, pineapple, and succulent dates.
The 1980s ‘Unbroken Chain of Visionaries’ mark Richard Paterson’s arrival at The Dalmore. It reflects 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 being bottled. The gentle whisper of bitter chocolate, marzipan, and cocoa powder pairs well with rich stews, perfect as a Christmas tipple.
The final step before entering the 2000s introduces the 1995, matured in ex-Bourbon casks and finished in Tintilla de Rota port pipes. Red berries, glazed nectarines, frangipane, and moist pecan pie build a plethora of comforting flavours on the palate and provide a sweet acidity.
‘Into the New Millennium’ represents The Dalmore Decades’ new age. This milestone whisky celebrates workers at Dalmore securing a notable achievement for the label; the first Highland distillery in Scotland to run new spirit off the stills in the third millennium.
This final whisky is also the most distinctive. It is an intriguing amalgamation of black maraschino cherries and bitter chocolate, with lingering liquorice and tarte tatin to finish it off.
Although each bottling has its own distinct character, the No.5 collection is cohesive in its overall aesthetic. A distinctive coloured stopper – burgundy, in this case – pulls the collection together as a whole. Each bottle is also engraved with an exclusive set number, and presented with a bespoke, self-charging, LED-backlist pedestal. To finish the collection off, each whisky’s unique story is engraved upon the doors of each pedestal.
Mirroring the No.5 Collection, the No.4 Collection comprises of 25 covetable sets, each containing four Decades whiskies (1979, 1980, 1995, 2000). Although both the No.6 and No.5 Collections have found a home, the No.4 Collection will be made available for purchase.