THE Dalwhinnie 15 is said to be the perfect way to introduce non-whisky drinkers to the wonderful world of single malts. Indeed, the bottle proudly states the fact it's "The Gentle Spirit" before leaping into a few paragraphs about the fact the distillery is the highest in Scotland and a wee bit about windswept mountains and oodles of fresh spring water. All very nice, but is this a gateway to a spirited adventure, or is it just marketing fluff designed to make you part with your cash?
Well, as soon as you pop the cork on this Highland malt and pour a dram, you are instantly drawn in to the sweet smells wafting forth from the bottom of the Glencairn. Green apples, juicy peaches, raspberry, sugary hard boiled pear drops and a light smoke make the Dalwhinnie 15 instantly attractive.
Have a taste, give it a swirl and an intense honey flavour smacks you about the chops. In fact, there is so much honey, that it took me several mouthfuls to start to distinguish this malt's other characteristics. The runny honey eventually subsides, giving way to soft summer fruit and that wisp of smoke detected on the nose ties it all together.
The finish isn't particularly long, but it is light, fruity and has a delicious malty vanilla note before that abundance of honey returns to say a final goodbye and then disappears, leaving a slightly sour lemon taste.
So there you have it. I can see why this would appeal to those starting their whisky journey. With its light, delicate flavours and honey overload, this should appeal to a wide range. But even if you're a seasoned whisky drinker, don't turn your nose up at this. It may lack a degree of complexity, but it's an easy going dram much like the lovely Aberfeldy 12.