Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Review

“Up in a Puff of Smoke”

Country: Scotland 
Region: Northern Highlands 
Brand: The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve
Type: Single Malt Whisky 
Age: NAS (Probably 10-15 Years)
ABV: 44% 

Colour: Amber/Copper (Clearly Artificially Coloured)  

Nose: The Cigar Malt Reserve needs some time in the glass to open up. I find clear Sherry notes, light Sulphur, Malt, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Butterscotch, Orange, Lemon, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Treacle, Yeast, Chocolate Cake and Winter Spices like Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cardamom. The Cigar Malt Reserve is quite Sweet on the Nose and there is a Young feel to the Spirit. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. After a while I find some traces of Leather Upholstery, a Dirt Road in the countryside, Menthol and a few Red Grapes.     

Palate: Quite Sweet in the beginning but some Spices and Oak provide Balance and a little Bitterness towards the end. I find Butterscotch, Toffee, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Honey, light Sherry, Orange, Cinnamon, Cloves, Pepper, Ginger, Dry Earth, light Licorice and light Menthol. 

Finish: Almost Sugary Sweet with Treacle, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Butterscotch, light Honey, Chocolate, Vanilla, Red Grapes, Orange, Licorice, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves. A hint of Mocha after a while.

No need to add Water to The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve.  

Rating: 84

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

General Remarks: 

The Original Cigar Malt with an ABV of 40% was discontinued in 2007 but in 2011 this new version was released at 44%. The Original version was said to have contained Malts in the range of 8 to 14 Years. In this new version a few older whiskies have been included as well (10-15 Years). The revised Cigar Malt Reserve matures in a mix of Ex-Bourbon (20%) -, Ex-Oloroso Sherry -  (70%) and Ex-Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine Casks (10%). The new Cigar Malt is way more expensive than the old one and costs around 100 US Dollars (August 2015).

In 1263, King Alexander III was almost gored by a mighty Stag. One of the ancestors of the Mackenzie Clan saved him with a single arrow shot. As a reward the Clan won the right to bear a Stag's Head with twelve (Royal) points to its antlers in their Coat of Arms. The Mackenzie Family later became the owners of The Dalmore Distillery and added the Stag emblem to their bottles. The Distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson and is located in the town of Alness in the Northern Highlands. In 2014, Emperador Inc. bought the distillery from United Spirits - Whyte & Mackay.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: I never tasted the original Cigar Malt so I can't compare the two. The Cigar Malt Reserve follows the style of the Dalmore 12 - and 15 Years with lots of Sweet Barley, Caramel, Orange and Spicy Fruitcake. It's okay but there is nothing special to it in my opinion and therefore it's way too expensive. I would look to Malts like Glenfarclas, GlenDronach or Glenmorangie for similar Aromas and Flavours at a better price. Or, if you like Dalmore, stay with the 12. I rarely smoke a cigar but if you would ask me, I'd say that the Cigar Malt Reserve will probably pair well with a Medium Light, Smooth and Creamy cigar.  

Jan van den Ende                                                                  August 24, 2015


Anonymous said...

I got a bottle of the old 40% Cigar malt this summer in Japan for ~$42. My friend and I compared Dalmore 12, 15, 18, and Cigar Malt 40%. It worth ~$42, but I would not pay ~$100 for it.

Nose: Very characteristic Dalmore with the Oloroso and PX sherry dominant. Also, close to 18 yo sulfur, which I am personally do not like much. Red fruits, sweet, honey.
Taste: Sherry and sulfur first, then some heather, old leather chair, sweet and sweet. Very smooth.
Finish: Medium-short. Mostly sweetness and hot burning alcohol. Overall, it is easy to drink, sweet and sherry type whiskey. Definitely worth $42 I paid in Japan, but doesn't worth $100 in US

Jan van den Ende said...

Thanks a lot for your additional information on the old 40%. Please leave your name next time! I am trying to get a sample of the original Cigar Malt but it's not easy. I'm not giving up though!

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