Dartmoor Whisky Discovery Set Tasting

dartmoor discovery set

This set includes 3 expressions of the single malt from the Bovey Tracey based distillery: Ex-Bourbon Cask, Ex-Oloroso Sherry Cask & Ex-Bordeaux Cask. All ingredients including barley and spring water are from Dartmoor National Park.
Dartmoor produces single malt whisky, using barley grown by Tim Cox at Preston Farm, Dartmoor & barley from Warminster Maltings in Somerset. Warminster are Britain’s oldest working maltings.

Dartmoor was founded by friends after visiting Islay to make whisky & subsequently asking themselves why no one had made it in Devon. With great local producers, all the components are here to make very fine single malt whisky #thewhiskeychaps
Although officially retired, Whisky Magazine Hall of Famer Frank McHardy oversees distillation for Dartmoor Whisky Distillery & has previously worked at Tamanvulin, Bruichladdich, Bushmills & Springbank.

Dartmoor Ex-Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky 46% ABV

Appearance: Light in colour, white wine. Thin legs when given a swirl.

Nose: Pleasantly surprised by the sweetness of this. I was expecting a more earthy and herbal nose, but there’s plenty of sugar, some tropical fruits, oak and light spice. Nice! There’s a salinity to it too, lots going on, which is nice to see/smell. I do get a slight funk on this, not cheesy, but that damp leaves element now that the glass has been sitting/swirled for a while.

Palate: Oooh, nice buttery mouthfeel, a more subtle palate than the nose would lead me to believe too. Another little surprise! Buttermilk, black pepper, quite vegetal but again, with a nice sweetness that balances well. A little aniseed, kind of sambuca’esque lingers in the background too. There’s a very deep (not strong, more a reduced gravy) meaty note to it, for me though, it just adds depth and is balanced by the sweet notes.

Finish: For me is predominantly sweet, with a slight menthol and black pepper adding a tinge of heat. That aniseed is also hanging in there.

Overall: I initially thought that £60 was a bit steep for this but I think that it’s definitely interesting enough to warrant that price. I was confident I’d like this one, but I was still surprised by it. Very nice indeed.

Dartmoor Ex-Oloroso Sherry Cask Single Malt Whisky 46% ABV

Appearance: A lovely deep auburn liquid, nice think legs coat and ooze back to the surface. Very inviting!

Nose: The nose would suggest a slightly higher abv in my opinion. Not a bad thing!! Dark fruits, custard/vanilla, it has a nice depth and quality. Something I’ve not picked up before (at least not so obvious to me) is meringue. There’s a sugary meringue scent which I really like. Strawberry chewits and rhubarb & custards

N.B. As I took the first sip, I got the same funk on the nose as with the bourbon cask.

Palate: Bursting with raspberry and strawberry jam (basically fruity jam!). Confectionary sugar and warming Christmas spices. The dark fruits are still at the forefront of this whisky. I also get a slight saltiness with this one too. It wasn’t on the nose but I can taste it, complimenting the sweetness and jamminess.

Finish: Predominantly sweet and morish. There’s a slight xmas spice that adds warmth too.

Overall: The best way I can describe this is that it’s pretty much that lovely sweet whisky that you immediately hope for when ordering a new sherry cask. Lovely balance, nice and sweet, but with the warming, spices to keep you coming back. My only gripe is the price, £90?

Dartmoor Ex-Bordeaux Cask Single Malt Whisky 46% ABV

Appearance: Rose wine, thin legs when swirled, slightly less viscous than the sherry cask #thewhiskeychaps

Nose: Initial oakiness and sweet smoke. Followed by a fruity sweetness and a very slight metallic twang. This expression has the most funk on the nose, there is almost a cheesiness.

Palate: Oaky and drying straight away. Quite spicey too. There are bread and butter flavours underlying all this. It gets more and more jammy as you sip. Stewed forest fruits strudle.

Finish: A nice balance of sweet and spice. It definitely leaves you wanting more!

Bonus! – Dartmoor Ex-Bordeaux/Ex-Oloroso Sherry Cask Single Malt Whisky 46% ABV

Appearance: Rose wine, almost pink! Coats the glass with a thick and oily film, very viscous!

Nose: High ethanol at first. Strawberry conserve, Xmas spices, dark fruits and a touch of menthol. A slight herbal quality, cut grass.

Palate: Quite metallic, copper and sweetness. Buttery mouthfeel, but, oddly, not as viscous as the 2 whiskies individually? There’s spiciness balancing the sweetness and this spiciness lingers through to the finish

Finish: Spice dominates, with sweetness in the background. There is strawberry struggling to get through too. #thewhiskeychaps

Overall: I’m glad I only mixed a very small amount of the 2 whiskies together, as it doesn’t work (surprise surprise!), but then again, it’s not supposed to! What a great tasting this evening! I’m off to buy a bottle!

For this tasting, we were joined by Toby (WhiskyShared). Follow him by clicking on the button below or check out his YouTube channel here!

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