Quintessence, literally meaning the fifth element, is a term used to denote the most perfect embodiment of something and with the nickname of “The Nose”, Richard Paterson has a strong case for being the quintessential whisky distiller. Famed for his tasting skills, The Dalmore’s Master Distiller even has his prize asset insured by Lloyd’s of London for £1.5million. Released in celebration of his contributions to the industry over the past fifty years, The Dalmore Quintessence showcases Paterson’s artistry in maturation, introducing a five cask finish that demonstrates a unique talent and deep understanding of The Dalmore’s spirit and location.
As the landmark five decades approached, Paterson had an idea to combine two of his passions: The Dalmore and exceptional red wine. His vision took him thousands of miles from the Highland distillery to the vineyards of California. There, Paterson hand-selected casks from five varieties of red wine grape that would each impart their own unique flavour on the spirit of The Dalmore: Zinfandel bringing soft delicate cassis notes, Pinot Noir with crushed blackcurrants and black cherries, Syrah offering cranberries and raspberries, seductive and warming Merlot with black forest fruits, and Cabernet Sauvignon providing a backbone of cedar wood, Morello cherries and sweet plums.
The journey began, as ever, at The Dalmore distillery in Alness, 20 miles north of Inverness, where new make spirit was matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels. Specially selected barrels where then moved to Warehouse No. 2, where the Dalmore carries out its experimentation. Here the stock was transferred to the Californian casks for an unprecedented five years of finishing.
Carefully watched over by Paterson throughout their lives, the casks were deemed to have achieved perfection earlier this year. Bottled at 45% abv to showcase the principal character of The Dalmore, enhanced by the five variety cask finish, The Dalmore Quintessence was officially launched on 28th July at Selfridges, London, with the unique expression receiving a wider release in August, when it will find its way to the shelves of The Whisky Shop, before finally completing its journey and resting in your own whisky cabinet.
“In 2016 I have the honour and privilege to celebrate my fifty years in the Scotch Whisky Industry. During that time, I have been fortunate to taste many great and memorable whiskies - The Dalmore Quintessence is one of these true classics. One which I am immensely proud of.”
- Richard Paterson - The Dalmore