Australia is a focus market for The Dalmore as it looks to expand its distillery capacity and consumer footprint globally.
Drinks Digest sat down with The Dalmore Whisky Specialist Mark Bruce to discuss plans for the brand in Australia. Bruce recently relocated from Scotland to Sydney and will be engaging with hotels, bars, bartenders and consumers to share his passion for luxury single malts.
“Australia is a focus market for The Dalmore as a top 10 single malt market globally and we will continue to bring exciting limited releases to the market, showcasing our communications around the artistry and rarity of The Dalmore, grabbing attention in the world of luxury and the world of whisky,” Bruce said.
The Dalmore distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson, a merchant adventurer determined to create an exceptional single malt whisky. In 1867, descendants of Clan Mackenzie took control of the distillery. One of their first changes was to adorn every bottle of The Dalmore with a 12-point Royal Stag.
The emblem was bestowed upon Colin of Kintail, the first chieftain of Clan Mackenzie, after he saved the life of King Alexander III of Scotland from the fury of a charging stag.
The Dalmore has an equally long history in Australia. According to well-established legend it was the first Scottish distillery to export its whisky internationally, way back in 1870. As it happens, Australia was the destination country.
Huge international demand fuels expansion plans
The Dalmore is part of the Whyte & Mackay group, which also includes Fettercairn, Jura and Tamnavilin. The distilleries celebrated sales increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% from 2020 to 2022.
The explosive sales growth of The Dalmore has restricted its availability in recent years. However, looking to the future, the distiller will be placing great emphasis on exports to Australia.
“We are expanding capacity at the distillery with a significant distillery investment to double production capacity and create a new luxury visitor experience,” Bruce said.
“This will boost spirit supply for the future so in the short term, distribution in Australia will remain across key specialist and on premise opportunities.
“Now is an exciting time for The Dalmore in Australia, we have stronger distribution and availability than ever before, and
we are thrilled to be in a position where more people are able to experience our portfolio of unparalleled single malt whiskies.”
The Dalmore targets modern consumers
While the distillery’s broad consumer footprint targets high-end whisky drinkers, Bruce said distiller was also engaging with the modern luxury consumer, who were drawn its rich flavour profile.
“The Dalmore masterpieces are meticulously hand crafted by our Master Distiller Gregg Glass and his team of artisans, in line with our age old whisky making philosophy,” he said.
“The Dalmore house style has its masterpiece begin its maturation journey in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, giving a base of soft vanilla and honey. Further enhancement follows, with a longer finishing in hand selected Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks, exclusive to The Dalmore, from the González Byass bodega in Spain.”
Leading The Dalmore’s range is the Principal Collection, a series of eight Single Malt whiskies. The 21-Year-Old is the pinnacle of the collection that also features the annual release of the 18-Year-Old and the iconic King Alexander III.
The 21-Year-Old was an exquisite dram to sip with Bruce (above). It has a delicious nose of ginger cake, orange fondant, caramelised pear and brandy snaps, while its flavour profile is sweet, rich and smooth, with nuances of marmalade and dark fruits. Limited to only 13,000 bottles available globally, it comes with a $1099 price tag and a well-deserved reputation for being one of the world’s best whiskies.
For those who prefer their whisky in highball form, The Dalmore Port Wood makes a perfect serve and comes with an RRP of $150.
The Principal Collection and wider portfolio are available across retailers nationally.