Dalmore Decades Captures a Half a Century of Single Malt Scotch

No stranger to luxury, Dalmore released one of the highest-priced collections of the year with its No. 5 Collection, which includes expressions with ages spanning five decades. Worldwide, only 15 numbered sets were released. The launch included a single No. 6 Collection that included a sixth bottle—Dalmore 1951—that sold for $899,305 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, plus a non-fungible token (NFT) of the four-bottle No. 4 Collection, which sold for $137,000 on BlockBar. Beyond simply being a masterclass in oloroso sherry maturation, handpicked vintage port casks and select wine barrels have been deployed to enhance the depth of flavor, while each bottle is tied to an important moment in the distillery’s history.

Dalmore Decades Reviewed

The Dalmore Decades 53 year old “Expertly Composed Spirit” 1967
95 points, 42.5%, $275,000/ 5 bottle set

One to study intensely; the aromas come into focus with espresso foam, chocolate mousse, black currant sauce, maraschino cherry, raspberry, walnut, and white chocolate. It experienced a secondary maturation in tawny port pipes, with a finish in Chateau Mont-Redon barrels. Sumptuous mouthfeel with earthy red wine, morello cherry, red velvet cake, fresh cranberry, ginger, and dark toffee, ending with deep sticky port notes that pull the spices together. It’s a show stopper.—Jonny McCormick

The Dalmore Decades 20 year old “Into the New Millennium” 2000
94 points, 47%, $275,000/5 bottle set

Distilled just after midnight on January 1, 2000, this was fully matured in Matusalem oloroso sherry butts, and it’s glorious. Slivers of pata negra, tangerine peel, honey-roasted nuts, cinnamon, ground ginger, baked apple slices, and boozy vine fruit exude from the glass. Savor the richness of chocolate, sherry, fig, date, maraschino cherry, coffee grounds, treacle tart, and bramble, with a dry finish of toasted pecan, espresso, and licorice. Impressively good.—Jonny McCormick

The Dalmore Decades 40 year old “Curating Exquisite Casks” 1979
93 points, 41.5%, $275,000/5 bottle set

Finished in a vintage port pipe after spending much of its life in Matusalem sherry butts, this fruity dram has aromas of plum pudding, fruitcake soaked in port and sherry, sliced almond, rose-flavored Turkish delight, marmalade, honey, and fragrant spices. Sweet and nutty on the tongue, with baked plum and orange, restrained port notes, marmalade, cocoa, and black coffee. The flavors ebb away with cocktail cherries, red Twizzlers, and black currant.—Jonny McCormick

The Dalmore Decades 25 year old “The Creation of an Icon” 1995
93 points, 42.5%, $275,000/5 bottle set

Complex, intricate, and sophisticated aromas of red gooseberry, Seville orange, cumin, wood spice, honey, marron glacé, tobacco leaf, scorched oak, and the tartness of blush-pink brambles. After leaving a Graham’s vintage port pipe to be finished in barrels that held Tintilla de Rota, a sweet fortified Spanish wine, it emerges jammy and full-bodied, with damson, black currant jelly, soft licorice, cooking apple, vanilla essence, buttered gingerbread, marzipan, cocoa, and red grape skins.—Jonny McCormick

The Dalmore Decades 40 year old “Unbroken Chain of Visionaries” 1980
91 points, 40.8%, $275,000/5 bottle set

A daring experiment, reversing the maturation sequence to incorporate a five-year finish in first-fill bourbon, this amber-gold liquid has vanilla custard, honey, candied peel, crème caramel, toasted coconut shreds, and whipped egg white on the nose. Rich, soothing, and still swathed in sherry notes, it basks in vanilla, Seville orange, banana muffin, crème caramel, and green melon flavors, plus sweet oranges speckled with sherry.—Jonny McCormick

More From Ratings