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Dalmore Whiskey Review & Price Guide (2024 Best Edition)

Dalmore Review & Price Guide

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Dalmore Distillery is a well-recognized producer of Scotch whiskies with record-breaking high auction prices. Most people find it intriguing to bid a hundred thousand to a million dollars for a single whisky bottle. But what makes it special? 

Here is our quick Dalmore whisky review to further understand this award-winning whisky brand. 

Everything About Dalmore Whisky

dalmore whiskey review
dalmore whiskey review

A dram of Dalmore’s Single Malt Scotch whisky has a nuanced complexity imparted by the oak casks used during the aging, finishing, and blending processes. The Dalmore house style involves half of this whisky initially matured using American white oak ex-bourbon barrels, while the other half rested in Matusalem oloroso sherry casks.

Behind the Dalmore range of whiskies is the Master Distiller Richard Paterson. Each bottle features the image of a Royal Stag, an emblem of the Mackenzie family.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Brief History

Alexander Matheson established the Dalmore Distillery in 1839 at the banks of Cromarty Firth, Scotland. He only rented out the distillery to various whisky makers and later sold it to the Mackenzie brothers in 1867 [1].

The brothers knew little about the business, but they incorporated the whisky’s iconic Royal Stag emblem. It is a symbol granted to the head of clan Mackenzie by King Alexander III in 1263.

How It’s Made

Oak Barrel

Dalmore Single Malts go through an aging process supervised by Master Distiller Richard Paterson using ex-bourbon casks and Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. 

The time spent in these casks imparts chocolate and orange notes to the whiskies. Some whiskies rested in additional casks such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, resulting in more complex flavors.

Ingredients & Alcohol Content

These Single Malt expressions used 100% malted barley and sourced water from the river Averon that runs through the distillery’s location.

The alcohol content of Dalmore’s whiskies range from 40% ABV to 46.5% ABV for their Principal Collection bottles. However, their limited-edition Dalmore Constellation Collection 1991 is cask strength at 56.6% ABV.

Who Owns It

Emperador Inc.

Emperador, Inc., a Philippines-based alcoholic drinks producer, bought the Dalmore Distillery in 2014 for approximately $726 million. The original owner, Alexander Matheson, sold the distillery to the descendants of clan Mackenzie before it eventually got acquired by White & Mackay. 

The ownership of White & Mackay has gone through several companies, including Diageo and United Spirits Ltd, before ending with its current owner. 

Price & Value

For around $60, the Dalmore 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch whisky is one of the cheapest of the Dalmore family. However, the special release of the Dalmore Decades Collection was sold at an auction for approximately $1,124,000, featuring six bottles chosen from different decades. 

According to Sotheby’s, this price point is the most expensive whisky value for that year [2]

Tasting Notes


A glass of Dalmore Whisky

A dram of Dalmore Single Malt has a thick mouthfeel loaded with orange peel, milk chocolate notes, and sherry sweetness.


It may have a varying aroma, but some expressions have a nose of red apples, triple sec, orange zest, dried fruits, and spice.

Color & Viscosity

Whiskey glass with Dalmore Whisky on table

The liquor has deep amber and rich caramel coloring imparted by the maturing process and cask.


The dram of whisky ends in a smooth and enjoyable taste with no smokiness. 

Common Dalmore Whisky Prices

Common Dalmore Whisky Prices

Type Size Alcohol By Volume Average Price
The Dalmore 21 750ml 43.8% Around $800
King Alexander III 750ml 40% Around $300
The Dalmore 15 750ml 40% Around $130
The Dalmore 12 750ml 40% Around $65
The Dalmore 25 750ml 42% Around $1500
Port Wood Reserve 750ml 46.5% Around $100
The Dalmore 18 750ml 43% Around $300
Sherry Cask Select 750ml 43% Around $80
The Dalmore 1951 700ml  42.6% Around $187,400
The Dalmore 1967 700ml 42.5% Around $187,400
The Dalmore 1979 700ml 41.5% Around $187,400
The Dalmore 1980 700ml 40.8% Around $187,400
The Dalmore 1995 700ml 42.5% Around $187,400
The Dalmore 2000 700ml 47% Around $187,400

Compared to Other Whiskeys

Compared to Other Whiskeys

Wild Turkey

The cheapest bottle of Wild Turkey ranges from $20 to $25, which is lower than Dalmore 12-Year-Old. Both the nose and palate have engaging light characters that are enjoyable to drink straight or on cocktails. This bourbon whiskey has sweet corn, vanilla, peppermint spice, and cinnamon notes with light alcohol in the aftertaste.

Elijah Craig

Elijah Craig

Elijah Craig is another cheaper bourbon whiskey brand available for around $28. Its nose is heavy on black pepper and herbal notes, while the palate has a surprisingly sweet flavor. It is present with all the typical subtle tastes of a bourbon whiskey, such as vanilla, peanut brittle, and spice hints.

George Dickel

This brand is one of the major producers of Tennessee whiskey in the United States. At a suggested price point of around $30, its bottle is still cheaper than Dalmore 12-Year-Old. 

Its nose has a welcoming aroma of citrus fruits, butterscotch, and oak, while the palate is sweet with light vanilla. The sip ends with a little heat, cinnamon, oak, and leather flavors.

Read: Black & White Scotch Whisky Review

Popular Dalmore Whisky Cocktails

Popular Dalmore Whisky Cocktails

The Dalmore Old Fashioned

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes


  • 50 ml whisky
  • 10 ml simple syrup
  • Two dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange wheel


Pour the whisky and simple syrup into a cocktail glass. Add a large ice cube, then mix in the bitters. Stir the blend for at least two minutes and garnish with an orange wheel. Serve and enjoy. 

Serving: 1

The Dalmore Mackenzie Highball

The Dalmore Mackenzie Highball on desk

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 50 ml whisky 
  • 25 ml Raspberry syrup
  • 25 ml Tawny Port
  • Soda water
  • Orange wheel


Start by putting ice into a highball glass. Add the whisky, raspberry syrup, and tawny port. Stir the blend, then top it off with soda water. Garnish the drink with an orange wheel. Serve.

Serving: 1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Dalmore whisky smooth?

Dalmore whisky is renowned for its exceptional smoothness, a quality that has contributed to its widespread popularity among whisky enthusiasts worldwide. The distillery, nestled in the picturesque Scottish Highlands, has honed its craft over nearly two centuries, perfecting its production methods to create whiskies known for their velvety texture and refined character.

At the heart of Dalmore’s smoothness lies its traditional distillation process. The distillery employs copper pot stills, carefully crafted to exacting specifications, to distill its spirit. Copper is prized in whisky production for its ability to remove impurities and enhance the smoothness of the final product. Dalmore’s skilled distillers meticulously monitor the distillation process, ensuring that only the finest spirit is collected, free from any harsh or unwanted flavors.

Another key factor contributing to Dalmore’s smoothness is its meticulous cask selection and maturation process. The distillery utilizes a variety of oak casks, including ex-bourbon barrels and sherry butts, to impart depth and complexity to its whiskies. These casks are carefully chosen for their quality and character, with each contributing unique flavors and aromas to the final product. Through years of patient aging in Dalmore’s warehouses, the whisky mellows and matures, developing a smoothness that is the hallmark of the distillery’s style.

Dalmore whiskies are also known for their attention to detail in blending and finishing. Master Blender Richard Paterson, with decades of experience in the industry, oversees the creation of each expression, ensuring a harmonious balance of flavors and a smooth, consistent finish. Dalmore’s commitment to excellence extends to every aspect of the blending process, from selecting the finest casks to meticulously crafting the final blend.

Is Dalmore a luxury brand?

Dalmore is unquestionably regarded as a luxury brand in the world of whisky. Founded in 1839, the distillery boasts a rich heritage and a long-standing tradition of producing some of the finest single malt whiskies available. Situated on the banks of the Cromarty Firth in the Scottish Highlands, Dalmore enjoys a picturesque setting that reflects the beauty and majesty of its surroundings.

The Dalmore distillery is renowned for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, with every aspect of production meticulously overseen by a team of skilled artisans. From the selection of the finest barley to the patient aging process in carefully chosen oak casks, Dalmore whiskies are crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail.

One of the hallmarks of Dalmore’s luxury appeal is its exceptional range of expressions, each offering a unique and unforgettable tasting experience. From the rich and complex flavors of the flagship Dalmore 12 Year Old to the rare and limited releases reserved for discerning collectors, Dalmore whiskies embody sophistication, elegance, and exclusivity.

In addition to its outstanding whiskies, Dalmore is known for its commitment to innovation and creativity. The distillery has collaborated with renowned designers and artists to create stunning packaging and limited-edition releases that showcase the brand’s dedication to luxury and craftsmanship.

Overall, Dalmore’s reputation as a luxury brand is well-deserved, with its whiskies consistently earning accolades and praise from critics and connoisseurs alike. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as part of a premium cocktail, Dalmore whiskies offer a truly luxurious drinking experience that is unmatched in the world of whisky.

Is Dalmore whiskey sweet?

Dalmore whiskies are often characterized by their sweet and indulgent flavor profiles, a result of careful craftsmanship and the influence of the distillery’s production methods and cask selection.

One of the factors contributing to the sweetness of Dalmore whisky is the distillery’s use of copper pot stills in the production process. Copper is known for its ability to remove impurities and create a smooth, refined spirit, but it also has the effect of concentrating certain flavors, including sweetness.

During distillation, the copper pot stills help to extract the rich and fruity esters from the fermented barley, resulting in a spirit with pronounced sweet notes.

Additionally, Dalmore whiskies undergo maturation in a variety of oak casks, including ex-bourbon barrels and sherry butts, which further enhances their sweetness. The interaction between the spirit and the wood imparts flavors of vanilla, caramel, and toffee, contributing to the overall sweetness of the whisky. The use of sherry casks, in particular, adds layers of dried fruit and spice, complementing the inherent sweetness of the spirit.

Master Blender Richard Paterson, with his keen palate and expert blending skills, carefully selects casks to create Dalmore whiskies with a harmonious balance of flavors. While sweetness is a prominent characteristic of many Dalmore expressions, it is always well-balanced by other elements, such as oak, spice, and fruit, ensuring a complex and satisfying drinking experience.

Is Dalmore whiskey expensive?

Yes, Dalmore whiskey is generally considered expensive compared to many other whiskies on the market. The brand’s range of expressions includes a variety of bottles at different price points, but even its entry-level offerings are often priced higher than average.

Dalmore is known for producing premium single malt Scotch whiskies that are meticulously crafted and aged to perfection, which contributes to its higher price tag.

Why is Dalmore whisky expensive?

Several factors contribute to the expense of Dalmore whisky. Firstly, the distillery employs traditional production methods and uses high-quality ingredients, including specially selected barley and pristine Highland water.

Additionally, Dalmore whiskies often undergo extensive aging in a variety of oak casks, including ex-bourbon barrels and sherry butts, which adds complexity and depth to the final product but also increases production costs.

Furthermore, Dalmore is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail. Master Blender Richard Paterson oversees the creation of each expression, ensuring that only the finest whiskies are selected for blending. The brand also prides itself on its luxurious packaging and presentation, which further adds to the overall cost.

Lastly, Dalmore whiskies are often limited in production, with certain expressions being released as rare or limited editions. This scarcity can drive up the price for collectors and enthusiasts seeking these coveted bottles.

How should you drink Dalmore?

There is no right or wrong way to enjoy Dalmore whisky, as personal preference plays a significant role in how it is consumed. However, there are a few common methods for savoring this premium Scotch whisky:

Neat: Many whisky aficionados prefer to drink Dalmore neat, meaning without any additional mixers or dilution. This allows them to fully appreciate the whisky’s complex flavors and aromas in their purest form.

On the rocks: Some drinkers choose to enjoy Dalmore over ice, which can slightly chill the whisky and mellow its flavors. However, it’s essential to use high-quality ice to avoid diluting the whisky excessively.

With a splash of water: Adding a small amount of water to Dalmore can help open up the flavors and aromas, making them more accessible to the palate. This method is particularly popular with cask strength whiskies or expressions with higher alcohol content.

In cocktails: While Dalmore is often enjoyed neat or with a splash of water, it can also be used in cocktails to create unique and flavorful drinks. Classic whisky cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Whisky Sour can be made with Dalmore for a sophisticated twist.

Ultimately, the best way to drink Dalmore is whichever way you enjoy it most. Whether sipped slowly and savored or mixed into a cocktail, Dalmore whisky offers a luxurious drinking experience that can be tailored to individual tastes and preferences.

Is Dalmore a Scotch or whiskey?

Dalmore is a Scotch whisky. Specifically, it is a single malt Scotch whisky, meaning it is made entirely from malted barley and distilled at a single distillery in Scotland.

The term “Scotch whisky” refers to whisky that is produced in Scotland according to strict regulations set forth by the Scotch Whisky Association.

These regulations govern every aspect of production, from the ingredients used to the aging process, ensuring that Scotch whisky meets the highest standards of quality and authenticity.

What is Dalmore known for?

Dalmore is known for producing premium single malt Scotch whiskies that are highly regarded for their exceptional quality, craftsmanship, and complexity of flavor. The distillery, located in the Scottish Highlands, has a long and storied history dating back to 1839. Dalmore whiskies are renowned for their rich and full-bodied character, often characterized by notes of chocolate, orange, spice, and dried fruit.

The brand is also known for its commitment to innovation and creativity, with a range of expressions that includes rare and limited editions, as well as unique finishes and cask treatments.

Dalmore whiskies are prized by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide for their luxurious packaging, impeccable presentation, and unforgettable tasting experiences.

How long is Dalmore aged?

The aging period for Dalmore whiskies can vary depending on the specific expression and the desired flavor profile. However, many Dalmore whiskies are aged for a minimum of 12 years, with some expressions being aged for significantly longer periods.

The extended aging process allows the whiskies to develop depth, complexity, and richness of flavor, as they interact with the oak barrels in which they are aged.

Dalmore is known for its meticulous cask selection and maturation process, which includes the use of a variety of cask types, such as ex-bourbon barrels and sherry butts, to impart unique flavors and aromas to the whisky.

The result is a range of whiskies that showcase the best of Scottish craftsmanship and tradition, with each bottle representing years of patient aging and expert blending.

Final Verdict: Dalmore Whiskey Review

The Dalmore’s whiskies are premium-quality alcoholic drinks from a distillery in Scotland. It was frequently featured in different news headlines for being one of the most expensive whisky brands to be bought at an auction. The limited supply and sophisticated production process make this good whisky expensive. 

You can enjoy a dram of Dalmore whisky straight, on the rocks, or as a mixer. The strong flavors of the Cigar Malt expression also pair well with a good cigar.


  1. The Dalmore Decades Collection: How To Create Complexity In A Whisky
  2. How Do You Get a $55,000 Bottle of Whiskey? With a Lot of Luck (or a Bit of Good Timing)
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