Emperador And The Dalmore 21: A Match Made In Whisky Heaven

July 19, 2022

When Emperador acquired Whyte and Mackay in 2014 for £430m, the entire whisky industry watched with an almost severe interest. The Filipino spirits company, already famous for its brandy of the same name, would be able to build an unmatched repertoire through its acquisition of the Scottish distiller and the famed whiskies in Whyte and Mackay’s stable, such as the Jura, Tamnavulin and The Dalmore. It was a strategic move, allowing the Filipino company to acquire some of the finest scotch distilleries in one fell swoop.

In Divine Company

The Jura, for example, found on the isle of the same name, is a whisky that is starting to go places. The most readily available expressions of Jura tend to be rather subdued, with a less peaty, milder taste. Emperador rightly gave Jura a rebrand, introducing a Signature Series that has made Jura the No.1 Single Malt in the United Kingdom, the birthplace of Single Malt, no less. Globally, the The Jura 12 Year Old Sherry Cask continues to astound whisky fans in Asia while the Jura 12 year old has successfully gained its foothold in the American market— paving the way for Jura to become the second fastest growing Single Malt in the world.

In the Tamnavulin, Emperador showed that it was able to revive a spirit thought to be lost to time. After the distillery closed in 1995, there were several attempts to revive it, but none were successful. After all, when it was built in 1966, it existed mainly to support whisky blenders such as Whyte & Mackay, perhaps contributing to the challenge of making it relevant again.

Emperador defied the odds, and in 2017 reintroduced Tamnavulin, successfully turning the brand to the fastest growing Single Malt globally.

Most notably, the acquisition also meant that Emperador would be the custodian of The Dalmore. Many industry watchers were especially interested to see where Emperador would take the famed distillery.

Steeped in History

Benjamin West’s The Death Of The Stag depicts the moment Colin of Kintail rescues King Alexander III of Scotland

The Dalmore is perhaps the most storied whisky there is. It is closely tied to the 13th-century Scottish King Alexander III (the very inspiration for one of the distillery’s finest expressions, the Dalmore King Alexander III) who would set in motion the rich history of The Dalmore distillery. Legend has it that Colin of Kintail, chief of the Mackenzie clan, saved King Alexander III from a stag while they were hunting. In his gratitude, the king gifted to the clan the majestic lands of Eilean Donan and its trinity of lochs, as well as permission to use the 12-pointed Royal Stag as the clan crest.

When Andrew and Charles Mackenzie bought the distillery in 1867, they used the same motif to mark all bottles that hail from The Dalmore.

When you try more and more of the distillery’s offerings, what becomes very apparent is that The Dalmore is a masterpiece in the making. From the robust Dalmore 12 year old Dalmore Vintage 2003, each bottle holds a different, distinct characteristic. Every consideration taken by Master Distiller Richard Parterson and his protégé, Gregg Glass, whether in distillation or in casking, makes each expression its own fascinating journey.

Gregg Glass (left) and Richard Paterson (right) inspect the tools of their artistry: the distillery’s great copper stills

Nevertheless, every bottle also holds true to that Mackenzie clan motto ‘Luceo Non Uro’. Its direct translation is ‘I shine, not burn’, but philosophically, it speaks perfectly to the Dalmore as a beacon of class and quality. Each one is an exuberant expression, brought to us specifically to be a delight to the nose and palate, and not to be overpowering. It is subtle, expressive, and with a rich, fascinating history hiding in its mahogany-golden depths.

The Dalmore 21

In the Dalmore 21, rising star of the whisky industry, Gregg Glass, meticulously conducted a symphony that can arguably be described as the perfect spirit.

The new offering typifies the inextricable affinity between The Dalmore and sherry. Rare 30 Year Old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks were hand-selected from The_Dalmore’s good friends at González Byass, residing in Jerez, in Andalusia – a partnership which has flourished for over a century, united in a shared passion for beautifully refined liquid and the curation of exquisite casks in creating masterpieces that last a lifetime.

The Dalmore 21 Year Old is a symphony of the signature Dalmore DNA of oranges, bitter chocolate and gentle spices, masterfully layered with Black Forest Fruits and sweet liquorice, walnuts and marzipan on the palate, gliding to a long and lingering finish of peaches, ginseng, pear tarte Tatin, and Sanguillo blood oranges making the liquid a true feast for the senses – an embodiment of true potential and the making of a masterpiece.

The Dalmore Decades Collection sold for US$1.1 million at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction in 2021

In Oct 2021, The Dalmore has yet again proven itself to be not just as masterpiece in the making but truly one of the most coveted liquids in the world. The Dalmore Decades No. 6 Collection sold at Sotheby’s Hongkong for USD $1.1million, making it the most valuable whisky lot ever sold by Sotherby’s in Asia.

Indulge In Dalmore 21 Pairing Menus

To celebrate the Dalmore 21, The Dalmore has teamed up with a slate of Michelin star restaurants to create delectable pairing menus available in the coming months.

Dalmore 21 Pairing Menus

Saint Pierre
1 Fullerton Road, #02-02B One Fullerton, Singapore 049213
Phone 6438 0887

Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
Level 35, Hilton Singapore Orchard, 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Phone 6831 6262

Basque Kitchen by Aitor
3 Fullerton Rd, #02-01/02/03 The Fullerton Waterboat House, Singapore 049215
Phone 6224 2232

104 Amoy St, Singapore 069924
Phone 6221 3639

Burnt Ends
7 Dempsey Road, #01-04, Singapore 249671
Phone 6224 3933

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