Last week I reviewed three 12 yo bourbon cask whiskies from three different highlands distilleries: a Teaninich 12, 2009 bottled by the Thompson Bros. for K&L; a Glen Garicoh 12, 2008 bottled by Old Particular, also for K&L: and an Ardmore 12, 2006, bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. We’ll stick with bourbon cask whisky for this week as well, but we’ll ditch the 12 yp and highlands-only themes. The first one takes us to the Speyside. It’s. a 10 yo Dailuaine, also bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Let’s jump right in.
Dailuaine 10, 2008 (61.3%; SMWS 41.116; refill barrel; from a bottle split)
Nose: Toasted oak, damp leaves, lemon, malt. The lemon moves in the direction of Makrut lime as it sits. A little bit of cream, maybe, with time and the toasted oak moves to the front, but not much development here. With a splash of water there’s more cream, a bit of pastry crust and it all melds very nicely with the lemon. As it sits more fruit emerges: berries, pineapple; all of it encased in pastry crust.
Palate: Sweeter than indicated by the nose but otherwise in line with it. Shockingly approachable at full strength with rich texture. Feels hotter on the second sip, oddly enough, but still way more drinkable than I would have expected. The lemon expands as it sits. Nothing new shows up here either though. I’ll give it some more air and if no change after a couple more sips, it’ll be time for water-based intervention. Some floral notes emerge but not much else. Okay, here comes the water. As on the nose, water unlocks a lot more fruit even as the lemon stays in the lead; and some pepper emerges as well.
Finish: Long. The citrus is the top note here too with the sweet malt behind it and tingling oak winning out at the end. With water the peppery oak is the top note.
Comments: A lovely, fruity whisky with just the right amount of oak to frame the fruit. The approachability at full strength likely indicates that the bottle had been open for a while before the splits were poured. Regardless, it needed water to show its best self, especially on the nose, where it really blossomed (or fructified). If only all 10 yo whisky were as good as this.
Rating: 88 points.