Whisky Review #138: Dailuaine 1973 22 Years Old (Rare Malts Selection)

After a near 4 month hiatus, I’m back once again.

It has been a busy last few months and with the rest of the year shaping up to be a rather interesting and exciting journey, I am unsure if I would be able to sustain a regular blogging schedule.

I will therefore endeavour to be more diligent and consistent with my posts, although that is definitely easier said than done.

But let’s get back to the object of my attention today.

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Dailuaine distillery

Dailuaine is a distillery that I have maintained a soft spot for over the last few years and even though it is one of the more obscure cogs within the vast Diageo framework, it serves an important role in providing the body for some of the most well known blends in the industry.

But beyond that, in its most simplistic form, it is capable of producing some bloody good malt whisky.

This week’s review focuses on an expression of Dailuaine which was distilled in 1973, matured for 22 years in predominantly refill hogsheads and bottled at an eye-wateringly high cask strength abv of 60.92% by Diageo for their Rare Malts Selection.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

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Dailuaine 1973 22 Years Old (Rare Malts Selection)

Dailuaine 1973 22 Years Old (Rare Malts Selection, 60.92% abv)

Colour: Bright gold

Nose: Initial entry presents a brutal and robust nose which is filled with malt, grist, alcohol and a hint of stewed pears. With time, the nose softens somewhat to reveal boiled sweets, orange peel, caramel, pear juice and some oak. Cocoa powder and wax emerge later on to accentuate the nose. (22/25)

Palate: Big, brutal and yet paradoxically elegant. Malty and gristy in equal measure, with barley sugar, oak, cinnamon and nutmeg very much in control. With time, beeswax, malt candy, apricots, pears and pear juice emerge alongside some sage and thyme notes. Orange rind and caramel figure late on. (23/25)

Finish: Long and lingering on the finish, with the wood spices, wax and fruits intermingling beautifully with the malty and gristy notes. (22/25)

Balance: A rather well-balanced expression when you consider the high abv and the brutal nature early on. This dram does open up well with time and reveals some rather nice hidden complexities which may not have been apparent on initial nosing or tasting. One to savour for sure. (23/25)

Rating: 90/100

This is definitely one of my favourite expressions of Dailuaine and it also showcases a distillery style that has not been seen in the modern iterations. That being said, it serves as a rather good throwback and a trip down memory lane to simpler times and production techniques.

Until the next review, have a wonderful week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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