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Dalmore 12 vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: Discover the Better!

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

Dalmore 12

  • Nose: Dark fruit, citrus, chocolate, cinnamon, plum.
  • Palate: Apricot, fig, grape, pecan.
  • Finish: Short, dark fruit, baking spice, bitter.
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • Similar to: Dalmore 15


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.

Is it good?

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 a glass” which I never got.

Dalmore 12 facts:

  • 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 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.

Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask

  • Nose: Vanilla, dried fruit, oak
  • Palate: Vanilla, dried fruit, oak, prune
  • Finish: Oak, sherry
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Macallan 12 Triple Cask


The nose is rich in vanilla, followed by dried fruit and a tad of oak.

On the palate, the Sherry Oak provides a nice creamy texture. First sip is pleasantly warming and sweet, with hints of vanilla, dried fruit and prune and a gentle touch of oak.

The finish is long, with notes of and sherry and just enough heat to remind you that you are sipping a fine malt.

Is it good?

The Macallan Sherry Oak is a nice and smooth mellow dram with no harshness whatsoever and quite easy to sip.

This is the sherried version of the Macallan 12 Double Cask and more appealing to most consumers as it easier to sip, due to the additional sherry wine sweetness as opposed to to the strong oak notes from the Double Cask.

This is the type of whisky that I drink neat or rocks using large ice cubes as I don’t like watering-down my drams.

Macallan 12 Sherry Oak facts:

  • The Sherry Oak Cask ages for 12 years in hand-picked Oloroso Sherry-seasoned oak casks. Oloroso is an incredibly sweet and smooth wine from Spain which flavors are very present in this single malt.
  • This brand is owned by the Edrington Group who also owns Highland Park, Glenrothes and the modest Famous Grouse.

Dalmore 12 vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Dalmore 12$70
Macallan 12 Sherry Oak Cask$88

Dalmore 12 vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: Which is better?

Macallan is superior to Dalmore

WhiskeyDalmore 12Macallan Sherry Oak
  • Macallan Sherry Oak is clearly better than the Dalmore as it offers a super smooth yet nicely balanced and flavorful taste, a creamy texture, with the right level of warmth, making one of the best single malts.
  • Dalmore is an overly sweet whisky, with not much of a body as it feels thin and watery, that might perhaps be good for those that enjoy sweet-bombs but personally, I find it cloying and uninteresting.

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