Two sister casks, I presume. Both Maltbarn and Whiskybase / Archives recently presented a Dailuaine 1996. Or maybe they shared the cask, who knows? After all hogsheads usually contain around 250-300 bottles. In any case similar casks have been bottled by Dewar Rattray for instance.
Dailuaine 18 yo 1996 (48,7%, Maltbarn 2014, bourbon cask, 158 btl.)
Nose: lemon candy and lime, pears and floral honey. Sweet banana ice cream and white grape juice. After that, warmer notes of almond and vanilla cream. It’s quite a sweety but it’s countered by some ginger and a little wax. Mouth: nicely fat and oily (almond oil), still plenty of sweetness in the form of honey, sugary barley and citrus candy. Not boring though, the citrus also brings a subtle sour and bitter note. Some hay. Finish: quite long, a tad drier, fades on lemon, almond and soft grassy notes.
Really pleasant whisky. The aromas or complexity aren’t groundbreaking but its thickness and body makes it very enjoyable. Around € 90.
Dailuaine 17 yo 1996
(51,9%, Archives ‘Fishes of Samoa’ 2014, hogshead #10607, 71 btl.)
Nose: stupid idea to put these two head to head. Either it’s the same cask or it’s just modern efficiency to have two near identical casks. After all Dailuaine is primarily a blender’s whisky, so consistency is key. See above. Mouth: really, you can stop reading. We could stress the louder gingery notes and a faint hint of mocha towards the end here, but that may well be the higher alcohol speaking. Finish: same.
Almost industrial consistency. This one was slightly cheaper (around € 83) but it’s sold out.