Dailuaine 12, 2000 (Silver Seal)

Another Dailuaine
, this time from the very well-regarded Italian bottler, Silver Seal. Silver Seal’s bottlings are available in Europe–their bottles are shapely and their labels beautiful (especially on their older bottles); their prices, unfortunately, are very high and have gone up dramatically in the last year. This, I believe, is due to increased taxes in Italy. Still, while expensive they’re not Samaroli expensive. Then again, this is a 12 yo from a third or fourth tier distillery and the list price is €125…. Thanks to Whiskybase’s excellent samples program, however, I was able to get two 20 ml bottles which is enough for a review.

Dailuaine 12, 2000 (56.2%; Silver Seal, sherry cask 9201; from a purchased sample)

Nose: Light sherry at first with lots of fruit (apricot, plum). The sherry notes get stronger quickly: a lot more brown sugar, some raisins and increasing salt. Some citrus too and some wood, by turns polished and dusty. Gets drier and more leathery with time and the apricot/plum notes get deeper and more jammy. Quite nice, I have to say, and seems more mature than its age. A few drops of water integrate all the fruit and wood quite nicely and bring out some spicy notes. 

Palate: Sweet at first–cooked fruit–and then citrusy and salty, quite salty. Very, very drinkable at full strength with a nice soft texture. Moves very quickly from the fruit to the salt at first but with time the fruit intensifies and hangs around longer. As on the nose, water really brings everything together–it dials back the salt and lets the jammy and brighter citrussy fruit play much better together.

Finish: Long. Salt is the dominant note at first and at second, but after a while a fruity sweetness re-emerges on the palate. With more time the fruit is in greater balance with the salt.

Comments: This is quite nice. The nose in particular is very good and the palate becomes very nice with time and water. I think it punches well above its age class, but at the price it remains hard to recommend it: €125 for a 12 yo is a bit much and though I like it a lot it would have to be much better to justify that price. At a more reasonable price I would get a bottle right away.

Rating: 87 points

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