Dalmore 18 year old
Dalmore 18 year old is a superb Highland whisky. It has been aged in a combination of American white oak casks and very old sherry casks from Spain. The whisky has a dark chocolate palate with spice and plenty of complex notes. Its most recent award was a silver medal at the International Spirits Challenge.
Dalmore distillery was founded in 1839 by a former partner of the opium trading firm Jardine Matheson. The distillery was taken over by the Mackenzie family in 1878 and it remained under their ownership until 1960. Dalmore was one of very few distilleries to expand its production capacity in the late 19th century. The number of pot stills was doubled from two to four.
Things took a drastic turn during the First World War: in 1916 the distillery was requisitioned by the Royal Navy. It was used as a mine-filling depot by American naval forces until 1919. Around the same time a ban on distillation was in place as a measure to protect grain supplies.
When the distillery was handed back to the Mackenzie family, they could not resume production given that the distillery had been levelled by an explosion at the site. The owners sued for compensation and their claim ended up in the House of Lords (Mackenzie Bros v The Admiralty  SC [HL] 32). The court ruled that although the brothers were not entitled to compensation for losses during the war, they were entitled to compensation for loss of earnings occurred in the three years immediately after the war.
Not much happened at the distillery (other than whisky production) until 1956 when their floor maltings were replaced by a Saladin box. In 1966 the distillery doubled its production capacity. Six years earlier Dalmore was sold to Whyte & Mackay. This latter company went through a series of acquisitions until 2001. From 1982, when the Saladin box was decommissioned, Dalmore has not produced its own malted barley.
The parent company of the distillery was bought by Emperador Brands from the Philippines in 2014.
The style of Dalmore is shaped by a combination of many factors. A medium-long fermentation period of 50 hours, its preference for clear wort and the difference in size of the pot stills are the most noticeable. This Highland distillery emphasizes its usage of sherry casks over ex-bourbon casks.