Continuing with K&L’s teaspooned casks from 2020 (see here for last week’s review of a 27 yo teaspooned Linkwood), here is a 22 yo Dailuaine. I think after this review I will have only two left from last year’s parcel—an older Aberlour and a younger Linkwood. Dailuaine, like Linkwood, is a distillery with no real identity of its own. It produces a mild classic Speyside spirit that goes into Diageo’s blends. Which is not to say, of course, that single casks of Dailuaine cannot be very good or even excellent—every distillery is more than capable of producing great casks of whisky (it’s just a matter of whether they ever see the light of day in single malt form). It is to say, however, that no one really goes to a bottle of Dailuaine looking for something very individual or idiosyncratic. But good whisky is good whisky even if it doesn’t set the pulse racing. That said, not all of K&L’s older teaspooned casks from 2020 have proved to be very good whisky. Let’s hope this 22 yo is closer to their Ledaig 23 than to their Glenfiddich 23.
Archiestown Adjacent/Dailuaine 22, 1998 (55.9%; OMC for K&L; refill hogshead; from a bottle split)
Nose: Bright with citrus and light grassy notes. Pleasant but rather anonymous. The fruit gets a little bit muskier as it sits with a touch of pineapple joining in. Develops as on the palate. A few drops of water and the zesty citrus retreats and lets out more musky malt.
Palate: Comes in sweeter than the nose indicated and the citrus here is more intense (lime peel). Nice oily texture and very approachable at full strength. More and more like sweet lime concentrate with each sip. With more time and air it gets muskier and maltier. Okay, let’s see what water does. Well, it pulls the oak from the finish out earlier and melds it nicely with the citrus and malt.
Finish: Long. The sweet citrus keeps going and gets zestier as it goes. Some oaky bite at the very end. Sweeter with time. Nice balance here too with water. Quite a bit of salt now at the end.
Comments: This seemed like it was going to be an inoffensive but anonymous affair from the first sniff but then it developed very nicely. Well, I don’t mean to suggest that it became at all idiosyncratic but it turned into a very nice, mellow and fruity bourbon cask whisky. There are no fireworks here—it’s just a very pleasant, highly drinkable malt. I don’t know that I’d want to pay a premium for the age statement but below the $100 mark this would be very nice.
Rating: 87 points.
EW! Rating: 120/100 points.