This Single Cask Nation release spent 12 years in a refill Bourbon hoggie and then 10 months finishing up in a luscious PX cask. It is cask strength, but the proof dropped down to a very unusual 92 proof (46.1%). Barrel proof usually goes up in places where the barrels are hot, like Kentucky, because alcohol molecules are bigger than water molecules; when the barrels heat up and become pressurized in the summer, more water squeezes out between the wood pores than alcohol. However, unimpeded by wood, alcohol wants to evaporate faster than water, so in damp and cool places like Scotland, the proof goes down slightly because there’s lot of water in the air already and there’s not as much pressure ejecting it from the barrel.
The anomaly makes for one bizarre spirit. It’s like a well-stocked produce department with a smashed up handful of Fig Newtons drenched in molasses and cherry cola. Taking my nose out of the glass, the world smells like a magazine, one with all those perfume samples in them. It’s sharp, sweet and woody, a challenging whisky, so rather than taking notes and reviewing this one, I figured I would toss things up, test my mettle, and post a recipe to pair with it, instead.
This recipe is inspired by Christina Tosi’s work at Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC. Sweetened condensed grapefruit and cornflake crunch are two toppings she uses in other applications, but I’ve modified the recipes here to make them easier to prepare, and postured them as a bowl of breakfast cereal. Feel free to try replacing the grapefruit with concord grape juice or even a dose of Pedro Ximemez sherry if you’re feeling adventurous. Both would compliment this whisky very well!
Pairing whisky with sweets can be hazardous if you’re not careful, but in this case, the woody qualities of the Dalmore could really use a nice confection to balance them out. The sweet cherry, and spicy cola balance with tart grapefruit and rich, crunchy cereal, while the creaminess of the condensed milk coats your mouth to make sure all the flavors can play nice. It’s a very simple recipe, as well, which can be prepared a few days in advance for convenience.
Condensed Grapefruit Cereal
- 225g (3/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 60g (4 Tbl) white grapefruit juice
- 2g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 2g (1/2 tsp) citric acid
- 2 drops red food coloring
- 85g (1/4 of a 12 oz box) cornflakes
- 40g (1/2 cup) milk powder
- 40g (3 Tbl) granulated sugar
- 4g (1 tsp) kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 Tbl) melted butter
- In a small pot over medium heat reduce grapefruit juice to 2 Tablespoons.
- Mix juice with salt and citric acid and stir until dissolved.
- Fold well into sweetened condensed milk and reserve in airtight container in the refrigerator to set.
- Preheat oven to 250*F.
- Mix milk powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
- Lightly crush corn flakes.
- Toss corn flakes with butter, then with dry milk mix, and spread on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes (check after 10 and stop when flakes start to change color). Cool and store in airtight container until ready to use.
- Spoon a dollop of grapefruit mix into glass and top with cooled cornflakes mix.
- Serve with Single Cask Nation’s Dalmore 12yr PX finish and enjoy!
Thank you, Jason Johnstone-Yellin from Single Cask Nation, for the sample!