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What We’re Drinking – Dalwhinnie

It’s always been our thought that you need to stop and smell the roses sometimes. In the midst of a pandemic, those roses might as well smell like alcohol. To that effect, we’d like to share what we’re drinking lately – the Dalwhinnie.

Here in Philadelphia, there are plenty of PLCB stores that should stock it. It’s even easier to get in New York City.

Bourbon vs. Whiskey vs. Whisky

basil hayden bourbon label
Note the “e” in “whiskey” for an American (i.e. not Scottish) product.

First, let’s talk about what Dalwhinnie is, and also what it isn’t. 

We wrote an entire post on bourbon a while back, so you may remember that one of the defining characteristics of bourbon is that it’s made in the United States from US-sourced ingredients. Bourbon is a whiskey, but not every whiskey is bourbon.

Also, note the spelling of the words “whiskey” and “whisky.” “Whiskey” refers to the Irish or American varieties, whereas “whisky” refers specifically to Scotch, also referred to as “Scotch whisky.” Since we’re talking about Dalwhinnie in this post, we’ll spell it “whisky” from here on out.

Dalwhinnie 15-Year-Old Scotch Whisky

Just like product you can buy, there’s a range of qualities and price points available on the market, and whisky is no different. This Dalwhinnie hits a sweet in that it’s an exceptionally smooth, pleasant pour for the money. If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, here it is: go out and buy yourself a bottle now.

Background on the Distillery

dalwhinnie distillery scotland
Photo by Alan Jamieson

Dalwhinnie is located in the Scottish Highland village of the same name. Though it can legally be classified as either a Highland or Speyside whisky, the distillery refers to its product as Highland whisky.

Founded in 1898, it’s been through a few different owners over the years and is currently in the portfolio of Diageo, a British multinational beverage alcoholic corporation. Their 15-Year-Old Scotch is just part of a fleet of beverages the distillery produces, which includes even more mature whiskies as well.

Our Review

glass of whiskey next to a cigarWhisky has a reputation as a rough-around-the-edges drink that’s only enjoyable after acquiring a taste for it. This may be true for lower-quality whiskies, but as we mentioned above, Dalwhinnie makes for a very smooth drink. If you’re not a huge whisky enthusiast, this alone would be a good reason to become one.

On the nose, it’s got some sweetness to it. We smelled some honeysuckle and a little bit of fruitiness – mostly apples or pears – that contributed to this. There’s only a little bit of smoke, which is another factor that makes this a great choice for novice whisky drinkers. Smokiness is more of an acquired taste than other parts of a typical whisky profile.

bourbon on the rocksFlavor-wise, it’s more or less malt-forward, with a little bit of vanilla and honey. There’s a but of nutiness as well. The smokiness from the nose comes through when you taste it, but it’s far from overwhelming. It makes for a mellow, smooth drink with a long, mellow finish.


Whether you’re a whisky enthusiast, novice, or simply someone looking for something new to drink because your home bar is empty for pandemic reasons, the Dalwhinnie 15-Year-Old Scotch Whisky is a good choice for you.

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