Dailuaine produces mainly for the Diageo blends, but that doesn’t mean it is boring. At all. It is actually a favourite among many long time whisky enthusiasts, mainly because of the excellent independent bottlings that have been released over the years. Today we’ll find out if the Dailuaine 1997 14 Years old from Douglas Laing also builds the reputation of this Speyside distillery.
Dailuaine has six big pot stills and uses condensers, which suggest a lighter new make. But actually, the opposite is true. Because of long fermentation time (approx. 75 hours), quick distillation and the use of stainless steel in the condensers (to reduce copper contact), the new make is quite meaty.
This Dailuaine was bottled by Douglas Laing as part the Old Malt Cask series, a brand that is no longer owned by this independent bottler from Glasgow, but rather by Hunter Laing. The latter company was founded when brothers Fred and Stewart decided to split the company assets, among which also the rights to the Old Malt Cask brand.
Dailuaine 1997 14 Years Old (50%, Douglas Laing, C# DL6995)
Nose: Sweet and creamy, with plenty of fruit. Ripe apples, green grapes, pear skins and pineapple. A whiff of vanilla too. Balanced and attractive, albeit it a bit closed. Taste: Creamy mouthfeel. A subtle fruitiness, accompanied by honey and a touch of bitter oak, as well as mild spices (pepper, ginger). Finish: Lingers on bitterness, somewhat drying. Quite spicy. Finally a hint of pear.
This Dailuaine has many good qualities, its fruity nose being just one of them. It also has some lesser aspects, such as the lingering bitterness on the finish. Nevertheless, I found this an enjoyable whisky.