Sunday, September 26, 2010
Dalmore and America - When Will the Bolder Better Buy Expression Bolt Forward?
Some may call me an indignant, yet aging member of the nouveau pobre class, who will limit travel to the U.K. until the kids hit 18, if ever! However, for those of us who are more stingy, and not single; that is, those who had that sip of too much too good. . . .well . . . will we see a best buy Dalmore bottling in limited quantities in Binny's, Beltramos, Park Avenue,or Federal? Will Richard anoint an annual bottling with somewhat surrealistic grace for those of us in the U.S. who want to taste? Will his distributors and overlords have compassion to the more attentive drinkers who want to do more than look at their Dalmore bottle and fantasize?
Richard Paterson assures us that Cigar Malt and Gran Reserva are one in the same. A bite of chocolate while imbibing works well with this expression. My last Cigar Malt v. Gran Reserva test may have been tainted by bad glass or an overwhelming number of other Dalmore expressions. Perhaps, LeBon's Mind Theory took control since some in our group were noticeably skeptical that they were one in the same. However, there were about nine bottles at that evening's tasting. Memories fade, and palates numb, as do the positioning of indistinguishable snifter glasses. Since Kingfisher took control and brought back the Whyte and Mackay moniker, where do Dalmore aficionados go until the renaissance begins, if any?
I wish to find fruitier honey-filled fields in more affordable Dalmore distillery expressions. I recognize that it costs money to age single malt whisky. Most of us know that some have found a way to put Dalmore on shelves in less consistent, yet extremely worthy expressions. This fortunately allows the more sensitive public to go outside the distillery expressions to private bottlers like Chieftain, G&M, MM, Dewar Rattray, the Single Malt Scotch Whisky Society of America, Whisky Fair, etc.
I have tended to favor the private bottlers when venturing beyond The Dalmore twelve. I prefer to give more of my Dalmore Dollars to Whyte and Mackay, so I'll continue to taste and hopefully justify an eventual discretionary purchase. However, if it eclipses $150, then the flavor better be more 'spot on' for the value! Too many distilleries seem to have done better on the retail front, even if I know that Dalmore can outdo them. As a result, Old Dalmore 12 still sits on smaller Chicago Area Liquor Retailer's Shelves in need of owners. At this point, these are the values, since the 12 is no longer below $35.
Of course, many of us us look forward to a Dalmore Dinner as the one recently promoted by Bowmore. For me, being a bit older, taking flight to New York requires tedious planning and the wife's consent. It also requires funds that may be more wisely spent at Coach and Tiffany. We envy Richard's position, but may not be able to justify or work with our significant other's expressions at the thought.
Richard Paterson's voyages to Chicago make a difference. So do those of Willie Tait for Isle of Jura. Jura's Prophecy should take off, but at a retail value of $49.99 to $59.99, if possible. The current $69.99 will pit it against hardcore Lagavulin and Talisker drinkers, who have too much brand loyalty to give Prophecy a much deserved tipple or two.
When push comes to shove, Dalmore has priced its upper level expressions into an area that makes it less marketable to those who might otherwise take the plunge into or above the twelve. However, Richard Paterson's is one of the show horses, that is the Secretariat, of all single malt ambassadors. However, Seattle Slew and Affirmed are nipping at his hoofs on the sales front, even if the presentation not as legendary.
I fear that this may be a distillery issue, but the need to create profit or whether enough profit is made remains unclear. I have wondered whether hoarding plays a role. I admit that I hoard way to much, so my passion is just as challenged, as Richard Paterson, among others. At a certain point, it is important to not only sell but to get folks to drink the stuff.
Yet, I am content to find time for the Dalmore Twelve, an occasional tipple of Cigar Malt and the privately bottled Dalmores until we win the lottery or something gives on the other Dalmore Expressions. I'll be waiting and watching, but my current open Dalmore bottle is the Cigar Malt and its not emptying fast enough for me. Are there any other thoughts on my Dalmore Dilemma? What is there to splurge on among the Dalmore expressions?
Posted by lafew at 8:04 PM