Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

A Flavor Chameleon for the Enthusiast Neat Before Dinner or After

Whisky Reviewed: Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve
Distiller: Dalmore
Region: Speyside
ABV: 44%
Suggested Retail Price: $125
Distiller Rating: 90
Wine Enthusiast Rating: 95

Mark Garbin’s Review:

Yes. You can drink this gem even if you don’t smoke. On the nose, relish in floral aromas with highlights of light pound cake, malty cinnamon biscuits and a holiday wood fire.

What? You expected the typical Dalmore profile? Think again. It’s a new day for Enthusiasts.

Scores of flavors follow those scents including vanilla ice cream, toffee and caramel. After that, gentle sherry notes and orange slices emerge at mid palate. Finally, the finish generates a slight bitterness and more fireplace memories.

But then, WOW!

The taste sequences shuffled and reshuffled. I didn’t know where each began or ended. I further found that slow-drinking this dram, allowing for more air in the mix, created a velvet sensation unlike others in the product line. Water only strengthened those traits. This whisky’s inbred chameleon nature is best enjoyed without food after which it depends on your stogie choice; if desired.

Various writers suggest a strong Churchill. Allow me to retort! Don’t blow away your senses. The many varied qualities in your glass go better with a mild companion such as a Fuente Don Carlos Robusto. You might step out on the wild side and add one-half teaspoon of Grand Marnier or Cointreau to your snifter or Glencairn and savor the unfolding magic.

In summary, with Cigar Malt Reserve, the more you ease into the night’s conclusion, the more you’ll enjoy it.

Mark Garbin’s Evaluation

Aromas & Flavor Appeals to: Optimal Client Type Great For:
Subtlety Aficionado Apprentice Cocktails
Power Flavor Admirer Enthusiast Neat Before Dinner
Balanced Devotee Adventurer With Food
Chameleon Lover Hedonist Dessert or Afterwards


USC rating: The nose on this complex Highland whiskey offers bright orange peel, rich aromas of figs and raisins followed by dry Baker’s chocolate, nutty sherry notes and just a whisper of delicate smoke. The palate is robust with ripe tropical fruit, raisins and orange zest. This is followed by dark chocolate, vanilla and unctuous sherry notes. This whiskey finishes long & spicy with hints of fennel, sharp ginger & rich vanilla notes. –Ryan Conklin

Wine Enthusiast rating: Aged in a series of barrels—first American oak, then transferred to a former oloroso Sherry cask and finished in used Cabernet Sauvignon barriques—this Scotch would be an outstanding dessert accompaniment too. Look for dusty cocoa and lots of Sherried dark fruit, like figs and dates, wrapped in caramel and baking tones that linger on the spicy finish. –Kara Newman