Last night I attended an invitation-only "Scotch or Bourbon?" mock debate in Nashville with my liquor-store boss. It featured Fred Noe and Dalmore master blender Richard Paterson in a good-natured back-and-forth about their respective whisk(e)ys, of which tastings were provided for guests.
The highlight of the evening was a half-ounce sampling of the Dalmore's 12-bottle making of 62yo single malt that Paterson poured for those of us brazen enough to ask for it.
Bottled in 1978 from a blend of Dalmore whiskey stocks dating back as far as 1868, one of the six bottles offered for sale (all sold) auctioned for a still-record price of 25,877.50 Pounds Sterling in Dec. 2002, or more than $41,000. At that price, my free sample was worth about $800.
The whisky was deep mahogany in color, and almost rum-like both on the nose and palate. Think of the fruity juiciness of the best toffee you've ever had, dipped in mocha coffee laced with oloroso sherry.
I remain a confirmed bourbon aficianado, but that 62yo Dalmore was as good a whisk(e)y as I ever hope to taste. And what a rare thrill to be one of only a handful who will ever experience it.
The other pours offered during the event included all four bourbons from Beam's Small Batch Collection, the Dalmore 12- and 21-year-old and Cigar malts, and the 30yo Stillman's Dram from Dalmore.