I generally gravitate towards the more quirky, characterful distillates. Or I’d like to think I do. Dailuaine is such an example, although judging by the colour of this Dailuaine-Glenlivet 2008 14 Years from Cadenhead’s, one could argue there won’t be much distillery character left.
Dailuaine produces a weighty, sometimes even meaty spirit thanks to a high flow rate and the use of stainless steel in its condensers (although I’m not sure that’s the case still). Interestingly, Dailuaine was chosen to fill the void left by Clynelish when it was closed for refurbishment.
While both Dailuaine and Clynelish produce a more traditional style of whisky, I don’t generally tend to pair them in the same flavour camp. But during Clynelish’s closure, they’ve reportedly tried to create a waxier style at Dailuaine, which I’d love to one day taste the results of.
For now, I’ll gladly make do with the Dailuaine-Glenlivet 2008 14 Years from Cadenhead’s, which was kindly shared with me by Robbert. It was bottled earlier this year after a finish in an Oloroso cask since November 2020.
Dailuaine-Glenlivet 2008 14 Years (46%, Cadenhead’s, 2023)
Nose: Plenty of walnuts, some furniture wax, copper and polished brass. Then some caramel-glazed apples, sultanas and pine resin. There’s this meaty edge that disappears into the background after a little while. Not the biggest fan of it here. Oh, and maybe some cigar tobacco too. Taste: Rather sweet but with some oak spices as well. Mostly cloves, some cinnamon. Then cherry-flavoured candy canes, some red berries, plenty of fudge and caramel. Maybe even some weak coffee. Finish: Medium length. Hints of toasted bread with some espresso as well as gentle spices.
Perfectly fine, but this Dailuaine is also the quintessential example of a modern sherry-influenced malt whisky. The sweeter influences from the cask battle with the meatier elements of the Dailuaine spirit. Integration could be better.