The third leg of my delightful river trip is the Tay.This is an instant sipper. It doesn’t need time to breathe or open-up before you get into it. That being said, it’s got good length, and like all whiskies, it deteriorates in the glass, but does so very slowly.
The first thing I notice is the toasted wood on the nose like a fresh bonfire – then while standing by the fire imagine a handful of raisins soaked in Armagnac. This is followed by fresh nettles, lemon and lime, milk chocolate and sweet coffee beans. The overall sweetness on the nose carries on with soft woodland earth and orange peel, but this is soon taken over by struck match as the lemon carries on in the background. There’s a lovely rich meaty character like slow roasted lamb, a spot of chocolate, and it’s all rounded off with hot toasted bread.
The palate is surprisingly powerful and spirity compared to the nose but the oily texture and brown sugar sweetness compensates for it. Salty sea spray is pretty dominant, but there’s still plenty of orange, chocolate, and those boozy raisins. The creamy finish creeps up on you with vanilla custard and mild rhubarb.
The oily texture seems to hold it together, so like I say you don’t need to wait to get into it, but neither do you have to hammer through it. This is a very good whisky which, like its river brothers, has plenty to enjoy – even if you’re not a fan of The Dalmore, give it a go.
Just one more river to go, I’ll be sad when it’s over…