There aren’t many whiskies that send me scurrying into research mode, but this Dailuaine did. Was is the pineapple nose that teased me with Piña Colada notes or just the sumptuous flavour profile that was so different? I’m not sure, but I can tell you this much – I went back for a second dram in the same sitting, which is nearly unheard of.
Dailuaine Distillery is in the Spey valley in, yes, Speyside. One of dozens of distilleries that have produced malts for years but that remain relatively under the radar of the average whisky drinker. I confess, I’d never heard of Dailuaine prior to tasting this morsel. But, her history is actually peppered with lots of names we do know – Aberlour, Talisker and now, principally, Diageo. Dailuaine provides some core backbone services to the whole Diageo line, including producing the bulk of it’s single malt for Johnnie Walker blends. But enough of that for now, let’s focus on Cask #10742. One of 773 bottles from a big ol’ Sherry Butt, this whisky is one of the most interesting I’ve tasted for a long, long time.
Nose: Like I said – almost like a Piña Colada. There’s sweetness of pineapple, but a smooth, well-balanced roundness that left me thinking of coconut cream and buttered rum. Then this light citrus note, almost lime-y. At this stage, it’s hard to believe I’m nosing a whisky.
Palate: Let’s get more interesting: sliding from creamy pineapple and citrus to big cherry flavours, vanilla icecream and toasty biscuits. Later, I read the formal tasting notes which suggest disgestives are the note, but coconut is still screaming at me so I’m going with Krispie biscuits. There’s an almost coffee-bean quality to the emerging finish.
Finish: The oaty, coffee bean dryness starts to emerge and now it’s tasting like a more traditional sherry finish. Fruit is back, dry and sweet and round almond and nut flavours hang around. It’s a medium dry finish that left me wanting more. So I did.
I’m almost certain I’ll be back to the Jefferson to try this again before the bottle is gone. It’s simply so unique. When you taste something like that and realise that same distillery is producing the lion’s share of it’s malt for one of the world’s biggest blends, it just makes me curious as to what the master blend has going on at Johnnie Walker.