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?

When I first stick my nose into this it’s delicate but complex. The first thing to emerge from the glass is old worn wood, like a banister after generations of hands running down it, which then develops into warm treacle and caramelised sugar. I often get a smell of musty old books (like the book room in my wee aunt’s house) and worn leather (from the ancient writing desk in the corner). The old gives way to the new with fresh wild flowers and a nice salty sea spray, which is followed nicely by coffee beans and milk chocolate. The whole thing is freshened-up as citrusy, lemon and lime with a hint of red chilies come around the edges of the glass, to be finally softened by butterscotch mousse.

It’s always disappointing when the palate on a whisky doesn’t bear resemblance to the nose – this is not one of those occasions. The wood and mustiness comes through with a touch of bitterness like peach skins, and those mineral notes continue with dusty beach pebbles. It’s got a slight dryness but that’s nicely counterbalanced by the smooth oily texture. The aftertaste comes through after a couple of minutes with juicy raisins and sweet stewed apples.

This is a lovely whisky with depth and complexity, but for me it develops a bit too quickly in the glass so is slightly lacking in length. I love all of the flavours that come out, but the wood and musty notes (which I do like in a whisky) come forward too soon and begin to dominate the sweeter notes.

This is my first excursion with The Dalmore Rivers series, and if the rest are at least as good as this, it’ll be a good journey.

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