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Review: 1997 Dailuaine 23 yr.

1997 Dailuaine 23 yr. - Signatory (7213+7222) - 51%

I'm a firm believer in these two or three cask blends.

What I love about single cask spirits is the improved structure and complexity when all the notes and transitions haven't become overly blended/integrated. Another way to say it would be that the negative space between the notes allows for a clarity and complexity that large blends can't replicate. The downside is: maybe the nose is a little weak, maybe the finish is a little ragged. Ideally, you're selecting casks that need the least intervention, but that can be tough to do at scale. The practice of taking two or three barrels, increasing the quality as well as the yield, while not losing the structure and complexity that a single barrel can offer is something I’d like to see more of.

A bit about Dailuaine Rarely seen as a single malt bottling (the occasional Flora & Fauna from owner Diageo, infrequent independent offerings) Dailuaine is one of the many hard-working distilleries which quietly provide fillings for blends. The set-up – six large stills, condensers – suggests that a light style should be produced, but instead it produces a heavy ‘meaty’ make thanks to long fermentation, rapid distillation and the use of stainless steel in the condensers to cut down on copper interaction.


Notes: Engaging on the nose. Mix of rich pastry and light fruit - marshmallow, sugar glaze, apple, grapefruit. Background eucalyptus. Layers of bright and baked notes continue on the palate - pear skin, tangerine, burnt sugars and hearty malt. Structurally, the same theme plays out - soft, full, slow, and sweet with the brighter fruit notes popping intermittently keeping the palate from playing sluggish. Finish is long but gentle with pear and apple skin and trace barrel spice.

Score: 10 (Reevaluate The Budget) I bought what I could find. Which I guess wasn’t enough because it sent me down a rabbit hole of exploring more 1990s, 20+ year, IB, ex-bourbon blending malt expressions. I've got a few other solid finds coming up, but they all left me chasing this one.


Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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