The Dalwhinnie 15 year old is considered one of the classic malts of Scotland, representing the Highland region. It is also called "The Gentle Spirit" and this is written on the bottle. The first time I tried this whisky I was still a teenager. I can remember even then marveling at the complexity and smoothness. The price of this whisky has gone up quite a bit since then and so I am sad to know that it may be some time before I can replace this bottle.
For musical accompaniment I have chosen The Flaming Lips album "At War With The Mystics". I believe the music is of equal complexity to match the whisky. Also I haven't listened to this album in a long time.
Getting right into it here:
Nose: Huge peat blast right away with sweet smelling smoke wafting over it. There is also an ozone and mineral like quality that I can only describe as the smell of summer rain in the city.
Palate: Notes of toasted fresh bread and a floral note seem to take hold first. This then seems to remind me of creamed orange blossom honey spread across the toast. On the fade a slight salinity kicks in.
Finish: Very smooth. I think this may be why it's called "the gentle spirit". The salinity above fades quickly and I am treated to a gentle air of peat and smoke that whispers on my tongue for a long time.
Absolutely fantastic, I'm not sure if I remember Dalwhinnie normally tasting like this. I think the air in the bottle as given the whisky a chance to oxidize. This was a bitter sweet surprise as I know it will be a while before I taste it again, while at the same time it was quite possibly like being treated to a new whisky.
The music works surprisingly well. I can't say enough about the Flaming Lips. They can be spacey and trippy while at the same time very complex and beautiful. The sounds are somehow organic and technological. Generally I have to be in the right mood to listen to them and I am happy to say that this is one of those times.