View Full Version : Richard Paterson Teaches Us a Trick.

07-30-2009, 17:34
Richard Paterson is Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay, makers of The Dalmore (http://www.thedalmore.com/site.html) Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky.

I had lunch with Paterson yesterday, along with his PR handlers and several other journalists. We ate, drank scotch, and listened to Patersonís presentation about the companyís flagship single malt brand, The Dalmore, which has new owners, a new U.S. importer, and is being re-launched.

Paterson is one of Scotlandís best-known noses, but the highlight of his presentation yesterday was a parlor trick.

That may sound snide. I donít mean it to. Iíve seen a million of these presentations, theyíre all about the same, and this was a particularly good parlor trick executed by a master showman.

Paterson took a water glass that was about two-thirds full of plain water. Then he took a clean, white handkerchief, unfolded it, and draped it over the glass. Using his finger he made a well in the center and slowly poured in a few ounces of whiskey. Then he carefully removed the handkerchief and, voila, the whiskey was floating on top of the water, with a distinct line between them.

He even rocked the glass back and forth a few times, and the whiskey and water didnít mix.

The trick isnít hard to do, Paterson explained. The key is to make sure the handkerchief touches the water when you create the well and remains in contact with it as you carefully pour in the whiskey.

Oh yeah, The Dalmore (http://www.thedalmore.com/site.html). Itís good stuff. The familiar 12-year-old expression is still the flagship. It is an affordable and not-too-challenging entry into the world of premium single malts. But the new regime (The Dalmore used to be a Beam product) has broadened the line to include additional 15-, 30-, 40- and 50-year-old expressions (pricey), plus two NAS labels, called Gran Reserva and King Alexander III.

07-30-2009, 17:54
I've a fondness for both The Dalmore and Richard Paterson.
Related before, but well worth repeating, I attended a whisk(e)y 'debate' several years back for members of the Nashville wholesale/retail crowd between Paterson and Fred Noe.
Not to be outdone by Fred chugging one-third bottle of Knob Creek, Paterson blind-tasted an audience member on a sample from an unmarked vial of the now-famous Dalmore 62yo, then the highest-priced whisky ever sold at auction. Afterward, my then-employer and I decided we saw no downside to approaching Paterson and requesting a sample ourselves. By Gawd, if he didn't pour us a wee dram (enough to cover the bottom of our tasting glasses!)?! We later extrapolated it at about an $800 pour each!
Wow! I can't even begin to describe it today, but it was awesome enough that only quite some time later did I remember having sampled from Fred's hand some Jim Beam white dog that night, as well as several other fine whisk(e)ys from both Scotch and bourbon stables.
The Dalmore 12 yo became a staple on my shelf after that, but then disappeared here for a year+ after several years in the $35-$40 range. Alas, it has returned at c. $50 and up here. Now it's competing with the likes of Glenmorangie and other popular single malts, and is much less the value it once was.
I suspect I'll buy it again once in awhile for obvious sentimental, as well as palatable, reasons, but the price increase has doused some fervor for it.
Nonetheless, Chuck, thanks for your anecdote, especially since it brought back to vividness my own Paterson episode, so notable both then and now.

07-31-2009, 10:49
We talked a little bit about the whiskey debates, which Paterson says he enjoyed and misses. He said they sometimes got very spirited and crowd control was necessary.

Here in Chicago the Dalmore 12 is $39.99 at Binny's.

07-31-2009, 11:29
I saw this same trick a few years ago performed live by Mr Paterson at a Philadelphia whisky tasting. I am pretty sure someone said that night it only works with the Dalmore cigar blend. No idea if that is true or not.

Regardless, it was a cool trick!

07-31-2009, 12:44
Thanks for sharing that Chuck and Tim - they are both great stories :D As for the 'trick'.... It sounds like one worth learning and would impress many family and friends :cool:

07-31-2009, 22:06
What do you other scotch drinkers think of The Dalmore? I can't remember the last time I had it, but this time it reminded me, favorably, of Highland Park.

08-01-2009, 13:59
What do you other scotch drinkers think of The Dalmore? I can't remember the last time I had it, but this time it reminded me, favorably, of Highland Park.

I like it. It is probably the most consumed single malt in my house. And it does remind one of HP 12. I get the feeling sometimes that real malt maniacs give it sort shrift.

08-01-2009, 18:12
Certainly the Islay boys look down their noses at that Highlands style.

08-02-2009, 07:50
I did a review of The Dalmore 12 (http://www.cigarpass.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=33326), If you dig around you can also find my reviews of the Dalmore Cigar Malt, 21 and 30 too.

08-03-2009, 15:42
What do you other scotch drinkers think of The Dalmore? I can't remember the last time I had it, but this time it reminded me, favorably, of Highland Park.

A while ago I think it was priced as some sort of "loss-leader" in many stores in the US. I don't know about US prices but up here I find it more expensive than Highland Park, which will make me stop and think. The quality of the dram is not something I like - especially at the price point. Not a horrible whisky, but not anything I'm hankering for. Just plumb ordinary to me.

Lost Pollito
08-03-2009, 16:10
For anyone that is interested, Mr. Patterson was guest blogger on the maltadvocate, and the responses to his blog were quite spirited. I don't mind Dalmore, but the 40% abv is a disappointment imo. I'd love to have tasted this new line of Dalmore at cask strength.