The Dalmore Rivers Collection (2/4): Spey Dram

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So, now I’m heading north-west from the Dee to the Spey, the second of The Dalmore Rivers on my Highland excursion – from the safety and warmth of my living room. With this one, I just had to jump right in, so to speak. It pays to really take your time with this one. It takes a while for it to fully open up, but when it does, it gives you a lot to play with.

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The Dalmore Rivers Collection (1/4): Dee Dram

dalmore-dee-dram-1This whisky was launched last year to help raise funds to protect one of Scotland’s most important salmon rivers. It sold out in nine weeks raising more than £35,000 which will help to open 25 miles of river and spawning ground which have been blocked for nearly 100 years.

The Rivers Collection (Dee, Spey, Tay and Tweed) hopes to raise around £400,000 a year to help protect the rivers and the plant and animal life they support. The first of the four to review is the Dee, so, what’s it like?

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Sainsbury’s Irish single malt 40%

Sometimes one of the most daunting things about whisky is the price, but you don’t need to fork out an arm and a leg for a pretty decent drink.
Supermarket branded whiskies, with their simple labels and comparatively low price-tag can often be overlooked, but generally they’re actually pretty good, and they won’t break the bank. Sainsbury’s own Irish Malt is not bad.

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Glenallachie 18 years, 57.1%

The wonderful joy of whisky is that there’s always a dram out there for everyone. In fact that’s not the joy of whisky, the joy is finding your dream dram (say that 10 times without tripping up!). I’m of course still on that hunt, and on my way I came across this little gem. I’m a bit like an old record I think, I love going back to those cask strength beauties, especially those that you can’t typically buy.

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Review: Bruichladdich 16yo Full Strength, 56.1%

bruichladdich-full-strength

Briuchladdich is probably the most prolific whisky distillery in the northern hemisphere – last year 22 expressions of the malt were released, thanks to the experimental (some might say just mental) efforts of Production Director Jim McEwan. This is one of those, distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2005.

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Highland Park 1995 Single Cask 12 yo

highland-park-1995-oddbinsOk, so I’ve mentioned before the top five, which of course is a changeable list. Now, I’m going to talk about one of my top six. That’s right, six, because sometimes it’s not enough to limit the list to five – it’ll probably be up to seven before long. Highland Park 12 yr old, single cask and bottled exclusively for Oddbins in 2007. There were only 661 bottles produced – that’s why I’ve got two.

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Glenburgie 15 yo, 58.8%

glenburgie-15-chivasSometimes you come across a whisky that grabs you by the lapels, shakes you about, and slaps you in the face until you’re a little delirious and dribbling in the corner; but you don’t mind because you’ve found a dram that will some beating to be knocked out of your top five (it’s pretty hard to have an all time forever-and-ever favourite, I’ve still not found mine).

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Isle of Jura Boutique Barrel, Review 3/3: Sherry JI 1993

Agree with me or not, but sherried whiskies are the easy drinkers and the crowd pleasers of the malt world. It can smooth the edges and add that lovely warm sweet character that attracts so many. Sherry JI 1993 is my third review of the Jura Boutique Barrel Collection. Bottled at a powerful 54% – sherry by name, sherry-ish by nature – I’ll come back to this point later.

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