Here’s another whisky from a relatively obscure and unloved distillery: Dailuaine. It is located in the Speyside and is owned by (who else?) Diageo. It is one of Diageo’s workhorse distilleries, producing almost entirely for blends. As far as I know, it has only seen regular official single malt release in the Flora & Fauna series. There have been a few one-offs: for example, a Manager’s Dram release, a Rare Malts release, and then in 2015, out of the blue, a 34 yo version was included in Diageo’s Special Release slate. There haven’t been so very many indie releases either. The redoubtable Serge V. has only reviewed 52 Dailuaines. (I say “only” because he probably reviewed 52 rums this past weekend alone—I haven’t checked.)
The bottle this particular sample came from was part of a series released by the Whisky Exchange for their 2013 Whisky Show. It carried an age statement but no vintage statement. The label was in a very attractive, throwback style. Was the whisky inside as good? Let’s see.
Dailuaine 29 “Old Speyside” (53.2%; The Whisky Exchange; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Dried fruit (orange peel, apricot), wood glue and rich malt. Not much change with time. A little richer with water maybe but nothing new per se.
Palate: Citrus (lemon mostly) and some wax plus a bit of oaky zing. Nice, full mouthfeel. On the second sip there are flickers of tropical fruit (pineapple) but they never quite get going. More citrus with every sip but the tropical fruit remain at the level of tantalizing hints. Not much happens here with water either.
Finish: Medium. Unfortunately, the fruit doesn’t expand here—it’s mostly the oak now but it’s not offensive in the slightest. The fruit hangs around longer with water and the finish gets quite a bit longer.
Comments: This is an elegant, well-balanced whisky that blends malt, fruit and oak well. I would have liked more of the fruit (and more tropical fruit) but this is fine as it is.
Rating: 87 points.
Thanks to Gimmeadram for the sample!