Where to Drink 100 Years' Worth of The Dalmore's Finest Vintages in the Philippines
The Dalmore is one of the most revered, not to mention one of the most elusive single malt Scotch whiskies in the world. In fact, in 2021, Sotheby's Hong Kong hosted an auction for The Decades No. 6 Collection, which ended up selling for a record-high $1.2 million (about P68 million).
Over the course of the past few years, The Dalmore has seen a stronger global demand. The brand's newest, 100 Years of The Dalmore, looks to be another assemblage of epic proportions. Only three countries worldwide will be hosting it: the United States, Singapore, and the Philippines.
The collection puts together three of the brand's finest vintages. These are The Dalmore 25, The Dalmore 35, and The Dalmore 40. First launched at The Baccarat Hotel in New York, 100 Years of The Dalmore is making its way to Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque. The hotel will be one of the select locations worldwide to have the collection on their menu. The others are Las Vegas’ Picasso at the Bellagio, California’s ROOH San Francisco, and Singapore’s The Cooperage.
The Dalmore 25 is the youngest in the flight. These are matured in rare 25-year-old sweet Palomino Fino sherry butts and 1980 first-fill bourbon casks. They then make their way to bourbon barrels before being transferred into Tawny Port pipes.
"The Dalmore has been the definitive single malty whisky and it has been since 1839," said George Schulz, Asia's resident whisky expert for The Dalmore. "In the Philippines, only 25 guests will partake in this and it's done."
Schulz, who is in charge of taking guests through the flight, sees The Dalmore's new collection as a means of further bolstering whisky culture locally. "It's truly an exciting time for an amazing market that's waiting to develop in the world of whisky."
Brought to us through Emperador Distillers Inc., this special assemblage is curated by one of the world's foremost whisky experts, Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE, who hand-selected the three cask styles.
The cask styles include the distillery-run ex-bourbon barrels, a 30-year-old oloroso sherry, and a rare 1970 Port Colheita pipe. Known for its secondary maturation process, The Dalmore toys around with the aromas of roasted Colombian coffee and oranges, as well as marmalade and roasted chestnuts and raisins. Meanwhile, the finish is reminiscent of mango drenched in aged port wine, marinated plums, and rich pineapple.
Paterson had crafted The Dalmore 35 from three wood profiles, namely a distillery-run bourbon barrel, Matusalem sherry butt, and Port Colheita pipe.
“Flawless and refined, like the beauty of this Baccarat decanter you will be truly blown away by the exceptional elegance of this special single malt,” added Paterson, whose nose is insured for £1.5 million. “A multitude of aromas enthral the senses with this truly timeless expression—a tapestry of tantalizing delight.”
In terms of their individual taste profiles, each drink has its own character. Awarded Gold in 2020 and 2021 by the International Spirits Challenge, The Dalmore 25 is adorned with Madagascan vanilla pods, and chocolate truffles. Meanwhile, The Dalmore 35, which reigned as “Supreme Champion 2020" in the same competition, has finish notes of maple syrup, dark chocolate, and spiced gingerbread to it.
For the pièce de résistance of the flight, The Dalmore 40, we get hints of cherries, plums, sultanas, toffee apple, and vanilla pod first, followed by orange peel, chocolate truffles, old English marmalade, and crushed walnuts. Black forest fruits, poached pear, with a little bit of caramel and dark chocolate, come last.
The Dalmore 40 relies on aged whisky previously matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks and Gonzales Byass casks, which stored 300-year-old Matusalem oloroso sherry in them. It is then transferred into Grahams Port Colheita pipes before making its way back to American white oak ex-bourbon casks.
How should we take our Dalmore whiskies then? Schulz, of course, gets asked this question a lot. He understands how setting and culture can vary, ultimately deciding how we consume single malt whisky.
"The Scottish take it neat. They'll let you know how they feel if you add ice. But it's pretty common for people in the Asian market to take their whisky on the rocks because it's hotter here," he said. "And when someone asks them 'why?' They'll just say: 'it's because we can.'"