Dalmore 12 is aged for the first nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, before half is transferred to ex-oloroso sherry casks for the final three years. The result is a whisky with a combination of sweetness and rich, sherried flavours.
The Dalmore is a quintessential Highland Scotch whisky, with a long and storied pedigree ranking it among Scotland’s most renowned single malts. The distillery is located at Alness, 20 miles north of Inverness, and sits on the shores of the Cromarty Firth. It overlooks the Black Isle, which is neither an island nor black, but is in fact a peninsula that separates the Cromarty Firth from the Firth of Inverness, both of which are an extension of the Moray Firth. The peninsula is a flat, rich meadowland. The name Dalmore is derived from a combination of both Norse and Gaelic and, in fact, means “big meadowland.”
The distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson, the nephew of Sir James Matheson, one of the co-founders of the famous Hong Kong trading house Jardine Matheson. Like his uncle, he made a fortune in the Chinese opium trade, and the age of 34 he retired to Scotland. Matheson never actually operated the distillery he built, leasing it instead to the Sunderland family. They operated the distillery until 1867, after which it was leased to Alexander, Andrew and Charles Mackenzie. Alexander Matheson died in 1886 and his son, Kenneth Matheson, sold the distillery to the three Mackenzie brothers. The Mackenzie family would operate the distillery until 1960 when it was merged with White and Mackay. After a long succession of owners, White and Mackay was purchased by Philippine spirits company Emperador in 2014.