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Aberlour 12 vs Dalmore 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Aberlour 12 vs Dalmore 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Aberlour 12 Double Cask

aberlour-12
  • Nose: Raisins, baking spice, charred oak.
  • Nose: Caramel, spice, nutmeg, charred oak.
  • Finish: Chocolate, cinnamon, charred oak.

Nose is quite pleasing as it offers a scent high in raisin, followed by baking spice and charred oak.

On the palate, Aberlour provides a good mouthfeel as it has a creamy texture. First sip hits with spice, but nothing too severe, as you keep drinking it caramel pops-up, along hints of nutmeg and charred oak.

The finish has a decent length, with a hint of bitter chocolate and cinnamon, along more charred oak which is present from start to finish.

Adding a drop or two of water releases more caramel, although it also brings more charred oak.

Overall, Aberlour 12 is a good malt, not overpowering, rich and sweet, smooth and gentle on the throat, making a good combination of easy going and yet interesting.

Something that I particularly like about this malt is the bottle design, that it’s not only unique but quite classy.

Learn how it compares to the Balvenie 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

  • Aged in both traditional oak casks and Oloroso sherry butts. Spanish Oloroso casks convey sweet notes of dried fruits, caramel, plums and cherries to the Aberlour.

  • The distillery was founded in 1879 by James Fleming, his motto was ‘Let the deed show.’

  • In 1975 Aberlour was acquired by Pernod Ricard, a French drinks giant who also owns Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, among several other brands.

  • Aberlour is one of the biggest contributors of whiskies to Chivas Regal’s blends.

Dalmore 12

dalmore-12
  • Nose: Dark fruit, citrus, chocolate, cinnamon, plum.
  • Palate: Apricot, fig, grape, pecan.
  • Finish: Short, dark fruit, baking spice, bitter.

The nose is quite good and promising as it’s rich in dark fruit, orange and chocolate, followed by hints of cinnamon and plum.

On the palate, Dalmore falls flat as it feels thin and watery. Flavor hits with fruity sweetness that becomes somewhat cloying after a few sips.

The finish is short, with some warmth to it, with dark fruit, baking spice and a bitter note delivering a bad ending.

Adding water does not bring any additional flavors, it just waters down an already thin malt.

Dalmore 12 takes an unfortunate downturn after a rich nose as it provides a bad mouthfeel, a cloying flavor and a bitter note making it a bad sip.

The low proof does not help its cause making the Dalmore 12 something I can’t recommend.

Marketing materials and PR sell it as “Christmas Cake on glass” which I never got.

Learn which is better if the Macallan 12 Sherry Cask or Dalmore 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

  • Dalmore ages for 9 years in ex-bourbon barrels before getting split. Half ages for 3 years in thirty year-old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks and the other half remains in the ex-bourbon casks.

  • Earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

  • Dalmore is a Highland whisky located in Alness, Scotland, founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson.

  • The brand is currently owned by Whyte & Mackay who also owns Jura among several other whiskies.

  • Whyte & Mackay is now owned by Philippines-based Emperador Inc.

Aberlour 12 vs Dalmore 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Aberlour 12$61
Dalmore 12$70

Aberlour 12 vs Dalmore 12: Which is better?

The Aberlour makes a better whisky than the Dalmore 12

WhiskeyAberlour 12Dalmore 12
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Aberlour is a smooth and mellow dram, with no harshness or bad bite, yet interesting as it shows some complexity making a more rewarding malt.

  • A good sip and one of those pours that you can use as an “everyday whisky”.

  • Price also gives the edge to the Aberlour over the Dalmore.

If you want to consider further options read my post containing the best entry-level single malts you can buy today.

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