The Dalmore is obsessed with the number six for good reason. Following the limited The Dalmore 60 Year Old single-malt whisky launch last year in honour of the distillery’s 180th anniversary, this year the brand is presenting The Dalmore Decades: a collection of six bottles of extremely rare whiskies spanning six decades.
From the last bit of the oldest whisky to the new millennium, this once-in-a-lifetime collection includes six bottles from 1951, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1995 and 2000—each one a very special and meaningful year to The Dalmore, and to whiskey fans.
“The 1951 signifies the last spirit that we have from the Mackenzie era,” says Stephen Martin, global single-malt specialist. “1967 was a special year for The Dalmore; that was the year we doubled the size of the distill house. 1979 is an amazing bottle, as the 1970s is the decade that Richard Paterson came to The Dalmore. 1980 is the year when the late Mackenzie passed away. 1995, that’s the year we developed that bell-shaped bottle. And then we’ve got the 2000; it comes from the first casks of Scotch whisky filled in the millennium. When the bells rang for the millennium and we were all celebrating, the workers at The Dalmore distillery were ready to fill these casks at two minutes past 12.”
Whisky is a liquid form of history that shines a golden hue. From this collection, which starts with the Mackenzies and ends with the Patersons, we get the chance to have a closer look at how great whisky makers continue an unbroken chain of tradition.
“The Mackenzies laid out a philosophy around resting whiskies for a long time … moving the whiskies across a number of different casks. They also put a stag on the bottle,” Martin says. “This philosophy was created. Each whisky maker, since then, is taking that philosophy and the quest for perfection and to improve what the foundation has already been laid.” The best evidence comes from something Paterson revealed in an interview several years ago; when asked what he considers to be the best whiskey he’s made, he answered, “I haven’t made it yet.”
The six bottled that make up the Dalmore Decades collection will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in early October 2021. A significant part of the proceeds will be donated to Scotland’s design museum and the first V&A Museum outside of London, V&A Dundee. Alongside the No. 6 collection, The Dalmore is also launching equally desirable No. 5 and No. 4 collections later this year. Only 25 sets of No. 4 (1979, 1980, 1995, 2000) will be released worldwide and Vancouverites are lucky enough to have one set, available to one lucky buyer via BC Liquor Stores. —Louisa Chan