Food & Spirits: Casting a fly on one of Scotland’s “Big Four” salmon rivers is the holy grail of fishing. It's the equivalent of playing 18 holes on the Auld Course at St. Andrews, or sipping a single malt straight from the cask at a Scottish distillery.
Considering single malts are made from only three ingredients, one being water, it is natural that a distillery would be associated with a cause to help preserve and improve Scotland’s rivers. Trustees of the “Big Four”, for the first time, are working together with one partner to raise funds to protect their iconic waterways.
Luxury malt, The Dalmore, has expanded its efforts to raise money to protect these rivers. Master Blender Richard Paterson has created bespoke whiskies reflecting the character, charm and individuality of the rivers Dee, Tay, Spey and Tweed. Each expression within The Dalmore Rivers Collection is priced at £40 (approximately $64) per 70-centiliter bottle, with at least £4 ($6.40) being donated to the relevant river trust or foundation.
The success of last year’s Dee Dram (all stock was sold out in nine weeks and raised £35,000-$56,000) enabled the Dee Trust to open 25 miles of river and important spawning grounds that had been blocked for nearly a century. Construction of navigable fish passes, enabling salmon to reach more miles of spawning grounds, is another priority of the project.
Each of the malts in the The Dalmore Rivers Collection has been individually matured in a combination of American white oak barrels and Oloroso Matuselem sherry wood casks from the Gonzalez Byass Bodega in Spain. Individual colors of the four whiskies range from a honey gold to a deeper walnut-hued amber gold, with aromas providing hints of tangerine, pear and jasmine.
Flavors of the four tend to be in the sweet and spicy spectrum: crème brulee, ginger, marmalade, cinnamon and marzipan. Luscious finishes of sweet blood orange, toffee and chocolate make each of these limited edition, highly-collectable, Dalmore single malts very special indeed.
John Beard, CEO of Whyte and Mackay, owner of The Dalmore brand, says, "As our successful partnership with the Dee Trust has shown, this project is a fantastic way of providing a special dram to enjoy after fishing, whilst also helping to protect these rivers which have been enjoyed by anglers for centuries."
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