Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (2019)
It’s been a while, but I used to enjoy the occasional cigar. It was a kind of good weather thing for me — I wouldn’t want to stink up the house with cigar smoke. While in the moment it can smell delicious, the next day though, I can’t stand the wafts of smoke constantly occupying my nostrils.
The same goes for the taste. Can be great in the moment, but waking up the next day only tasting ashtray is not a great feeling. That’s also why I never really understand whisky and cigar pairings. I always find the cigar too dominant, leaving little room to enjoy the whisky.
Now some cigar connaisseurs might say I’ve never tasted the right cigar, much like we whisky folk like to shout that there’s a suitable whisky for everyone. And they might be right, so I’m happy for someone to suggest something that goes with today’s whisky — or any whisky for that matter.
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve was made with cigar pairings in mind. Sadly though, there’s barely any information on the Dalmore website. They say it is the perfect complement to a fine cigar, but why do they believe this is the case? What would be a great cigar to pair it with? Just two basic questions that I feel should be answered on a product page for the Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve.
Alas, we’ll have to do with just some basic information on cask types used for maturation: American white oak ex-bourbon casks, Matusalem oloroso sherry casks and Cabernet Sauvignon barriques.
Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (44%, OB, 2019)
Nose: An overall sweetness with dried fruits, but also plums, orange peel with a hint of triple sec. Touches of vanilla, honey, mead and a whiff of cappuccino as well. Finally some brown sugar. Very pleasant and neatly balanced.
Taste: Sweet but with bitter notes of espresso and burnt caramel. There’s toffee, fudge and chocolate, but also a fair amount of spices.
Finish: Lingering bitterness. Medium in length. Finally some sweetness.
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve comes up short on the palate, even though the nose has many redeeming qualities—it is fairly complex and balanced. Too bad the rest can’t quite keep up.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.