A Quick Dram: Dallas Dhu x2

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A few weeks ago I got a lovely picture message from my frequent beer buddy Budge! Nothing lewd I can assure you (sorry ladies) but in fact a picture of him sitting enjoying a couple of lovely drams from his fathers whisky collection. A cheeky couple of drams from the sadly now defunct distillery Dallas Dhu. Budge has always maintained that Dallas Dhu is his favourite whisky and so when I saw him tucking into a bottle up North, I requested he take a vial of the gold back for moi. Luckily for me he returned with two samples, one from 1982 and one from 1975, both Gordon & Macphail bottlings and both eagerly accepted.

A little on the distillery before we commence: Located just outside of Forres, Alexander Edward built Dallasmore (he also built Benromach) in 1898 which became Dallas Dhu when bought over by Wright and Greig Lt. Production started in May 1899 and it changed hands various times over the years but eventually settled with Scottish Malt Distillers. It was damaged by a fire in 1939 and remained closed until after the Second World War, eventually re-opening in 1947. Sadly it was eventually forced to close in 1983, predominantly because of a prolonged drought. It was opened to the public as a historic building in 1988 and has been run as a museum by Historic Scotland since 1992.

With the final cask filled in March 1983 it is noo wonder that it is quite a hard whisky to get a hold of and only a couple of bottlings are available to buy. Budge brought me two samples to try and in a delightful tasting involving home brew, cheese, pancetta and of course Dallas Dhu i took some notes for Edinburgh Whisky blog:

Dallas Dhu 1982

Gordon & Macphail
Re-fill Sherry Casks
40% ABV
£73.95 here

Nose: Despite its age and low ABV it has a very spirity nose. Fresh and fuity, plenty of sharp pear notes. Light yet intense aroma, an intriguing mix.

Palate: Deliciously smooth and creamy. Starts off like a chocolate baked pear and moves onto a gentle hickory rib coating. sweet but with a little bit of smoke.

Finish: Long and warming. More of the sweet chocolately notes, rounding off with a lighter milky smooth note. Kinder bueno like.

Dallas Dhu 1975

Gordon & Macphail
Re-fill Bourbon Barrels
40% ABV
£105 here

Nose: Not as estery as the younger bottling, but still has this sharp, fruitiness. Exotic fruit notes bundled in with an overriding aroma of peach and cream.

Palate: Again not as intense as the 1982 bottling. Not as full flavoured. Gently sweet and a creamy mouth feel. Candied peach and vanilla yoghurt.

Finish: Fresh right up to the last. Refreshing and a little zesty.

Of the two bottlings sampled we both agreed that the 1982 was the strongest of them. They should both be tried if the chance arises and it is quite a shame that no more shall be produced by the distillery. However, if you do happen to be in Forres you should check out Dallas Dhu for a chance to see a distillery untouched since the early 80′s.

Graeme Gardiner

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