...and it does! This is a very impressive and quaffable malt-rum combo and because I love both excellent (single cask) rum and top-quality malt whisky this is a home-run on my taste buds. A great experiment by Cadenhead and please - do more of such stuff!
The colour is burnished and the nose offers a powerful profile of both rum and malt aromas and it is hard to decide which one is stronger. I go for a draw which means balanced impressions and the wood fits well into this picture. This is really something worth to explore in more depths, so let it breathe and open up fully at least ten minutes before you enter unchartered territory (to most whisky connoisseurs because such heavy rum cask double maturations are very hard to find). I detect such strange aromas like tar, shoe polish or eucalyptus which are very unusual for a Dalmore. This is a very complex nose I could sniff for hours and still encounter new impressions.
The taste is nicely layered on a back-and-forth of malt and rum flavours just like ballet dancers of a Broadway show. The wood provides the right background rhythms to this interesting dance of flavours on my taste buds, wow - this is both interesting and dangerously quaffable. Dozens of different impressions pop up and leave only to come back in a later wave and it is hard to identify which one is of malt or rum origin. But to be honest, I do not care and I am too lazy to name them here - just find out by yourself. If you like both excellent rum and good malt this is a must try, no doubt about it. But if you do not like the extreme flavours of high-ester rum shy away from this dram, as it will ruin your taste buds for the rest of the evening.
The initial mouthfeel is warming and coating but to be honest, I expected more oiliness of the texture. It is not bad, but given the excellent nose and taste the mouthfeel is a little thin (I would call this an average mouthfeel these days). The finish is long and the rum flavours dominate now which was expected as every high-ester rum owns an incredible long finish no malt can match. Water releases even more aromas in the nose and flavours on the palate and the profile changes interestingly with any further reduction. This dram swims like Mark Spitz in all waters and I like to explore it neat first and then try as many different reduction levels as possible. The highest quaffability is around 45% abv (to me) because it offers additional dark chocolatey flavours at this level (I adore dark chocolate).