The final leg of The Dalmore Rivers tour takes me to the Tweed. It’s a warm peachy colour (the whisky, not the river) and the now familiar oily looking texture. The Tweed is an up-front dram, and like the others in the series, delivering loads of flavours that come at you in waves rather than a big lump that unfolds, so you see a progression in the glass as you take your time with it.
The nose starts with spiced dates, closely followed by a moss covered log and struck match. Coming straight through the middle there’s a touch of sweet bread, chocolate spread and hazelnuts with freshly squeezed orange juice around the edges. As I waited I could smell a slight mustiness – a bit like an old tweed jacket that has spent years at the back of the wardrobe. It’s not overpowering so allows ripe pears and mangoes to come through, developing more savoury notes, like a walk in the country and passing a field of cows – this is a good thing, it’s sunny and a cool breeze is coming from a nearby beach. A tiny drop of water brings out sweet lemon, milky coffee, choux pastry and vanilla custard, and spicy oranges rounded off with rich golden syrup.
The palate is very light with a smooth texture, and soft with sweet marzipan, milk chocolate, and more of that moss covered log with a touch of wet earth. It’s all rounded-off with an aftertaste of iron rust and orange peel.
Personally I found the palate a little light and it could have done with a tiny bit more length, but it’s still a very tasty dram.
Before I sampled these I though that one or two might stand-out as winners, but I was wrong. They are all definitely The Dalmore – any experienced whisky fan would be able to spot it. The fun difference would be that they’d identify them with a puzzled frown. Not only do they stand out significantly from the standard releases, they are each unique within the Rivers range. They all had their elements which I found disappointing – some could have had better length or had more weight in the palate, but that’s just me. The thing that stands-out the most is the fact that these are complex whiskies layered with literally dozens of great flavours. They all carry The Dalmore signature, so fans of this distillery will doubtless find a lot of pleasure in all four, and even if you’re not a fan you’ll enjoy these for being a little bit different, and the fact that they’re just good whisky. Personally, I’m finding it too difficult to decide which I like the most, ideally I’d have them all!