Rare Malts Selection Dallas Dhu 21 Year (1975)

Scotch Whisky Review #402: Rare Malts Selection Dallas Dhu 21 Year (1975)

Distillery: Dallas Dhu.

Region: Speyside.

Age: 21 Year. Distilled in 1975 and bottled in April of 1997.

ABV: 61.9%. Cask Strength.

Price: $35 for a 1 oz pour at Jack Rose in Washington D.C. This pour was the last out of the bottle.

Color: 1.0, Deep Copper.

Nose: Honey scented hand lotion is the first note that comes to mind, the super fancy stuff not the kind that has an almost plasticky scent. Some floral notes come in behind the honey hand lotion in heather and violets. A bit of orange peel and some hay wrap things up.

Palate: You can really feel the heat at full strength. Adding some water (bartender gave me a little boston of purified water with an eyedropper, three drops is what I added first) really starts to liven things up. You get some sherry, fruits, heather, and leather. After a few more drops of water, the heat level really drops. The sherry and mixed fruit notes become quite strong and tasty. An orange oil note comes through as well.

Finish: Long. It’s lightly floral with heather and lilac. Some malt, hay, and general “farminess” comes through. The last bits are of a crème brûlée with a slightly burnt top.

Conclusion: If you’ve poked down the dead distillery rabbit hole enough, you’ve probably come across references to Diageo’s old “Rare Malts” line which showcased stock from many of their closed distilleries along with their operational ones. Naturally, I’ve been curious about the line but they’re not easy to come by nor are they particularly affordable at auction. The wall at the Jack Rose contained more than a couple of old Rare Malts bottlings and of course I had to try some. This Dallas Dhu was a really fun one. The nose and the finish definitely are the stars here. The nose was so fragrant with the mixture of honey hand lotion and flowers being firmly in the driving seat. The finish is among one of the best I’ve had. It’s complex with layers upon layers of flavor, starting off being lightly floral before moving towards a more farm-esque set of flavors and finally settling as a delicious crème brûlée. The palate was what was holding this dram back, it tasted alright just a bit flat. Perhaps it was due to being the last few drops out of the bottle, perhaps it was just because the nose and finish are so strong. Either way, it was a delight to have tried this one!

Final Score: 84.

Scotch Whisky Review #402, Speyside Review #148, Whisky Network Review #556

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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