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Dalmore 12 vs Dalmore 15: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Dalmore 12 vs Dalmore 15 in this head to head comparison and decide which is better for you!

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 beautiful 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 lacking in texture. 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 an incredible nose as it provides a bad mouthfeel, a cloying flavor and a bitter note on the finish making a bad sip.

The low proof does not help its cause making the Dalmore 12 something I can’t recommend, with several better malts in the market at better prices.

You will see this whisky commonly advertised as “liquified Christmas Cake” which I never got.

I found the Dalmore to be a disappointment, it seems that they put more effort into the packaging and design of the bottle that looks quite nice than in the quality of the juice.

Read my list with the best 12 year old malts so you consider further options.

Learn how Dalmore compares to the Balvenie 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.
  • Scored 95 points at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

Dalmore 15

dalmore-15
  • Nose: Smooth, dried fruit, hazelnut, oak.
  • Palate: Light body, raisins, baking spice, oak.
  • Finish: Short, oak spice, black pepper, dried fruit.

The nose is mild, with just a faint dried fruit note, hazelnut and a bit of oak.

On the palate, Dalmore 15 lacks in body as it feels thin. Flavor hits with raisins at first, followed by cinnamon and nutmeg, and just a tad of oak spice coming behind.

The finish is short-lived and unremarkable, a bit high in oak spice and pepper and just a touch of dried fruit.

Dalmore 15 is a crowd pleaser, a smooth and sweet sherry-bomb, non-challenging single malt and enjoyable. Although the sweetness fades towards the end as it becomes more oaky and peppery.

Overall, the Dalmore 15 is enjoyable and easy to drink but far from the best whiskies in this category as it feels too thin and watery and a finish that fails to deliver a pleasing experience.

The low proof (alcohol content) is also a bummer.

I live under the impression that in general, Dalmore has put more effort in the beauty of the packaging than in the quality of the juice as I’m yet to try a good Dalmore; they all feel weak and watered-down.

Consider further options by reading my roundup with the best 15 year old whiskies.

Learn how it compares to the Macallan 15!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).
  • Dalmore 15 is first aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon casks to later be barreled for an additional 3 years in three different types of sherry casks: Amoroso, Apostoles and Matusalem Oloroso before they’re all married back together.

Dalmore 12 vs Dalmore 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Dalmore 12$70
Dalmore 15$130

Dalmore 12 vs Dalmore 15: Which is better?

The Dalmore 15 is a modest step-up over the 12 YO

WhiskeyDalmore 12Dalmore 15
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Dalmore 15 is better than its 12 year sibling but there are several better whiskies at such price.
  • If you want a good 15 year without spending much look into the Glenfiddich 15 which is far from being the best in its category but its price make it quite attractive.
  • If money is not an issue consider the Macallan 15 which is offered at the same price but its remarkably better than the Dalmore 15.

Dalmore

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.

Highland whiskies offer a huge diversity of flavors and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts; the Highlands offers a Scotch for all tastes!

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