Whisky Advocate

New: The Dalmore Mackenzie

March 18th, 2010

I first wrote about it here last month. This press release came in yesterday, but I didn’t get a chance to put it up until today. Here are the details of this new bottling. (And yes, it will be sold in the U.S.)

Illuminating a new partnership between The Dalmore distillery and the Mackenzie Clan

On the 17h March 2010 a unique gathering of Clan supporters and whisky aficionados’ is happening at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Underneath the shadow of the famous Scottish painting; ‘Fury of the Stag’, the first few bottles of a new edition of The Dalmore Mackenzie will be unveiled and enjoyed.

Only 3,000 limited edition bottles of the legendary highland single malt are being released to mark a new era in the distillery’s long affiliation with The Mackenzie Clan, and to help raise much needed funds for this famous Scots family.

The Mackenzie family, owners of The Dalmore distillery for almost a century, provides the inspiration for The Dalmore’s iconic stag head logo and its motto “I Shine, Not Burn” which is also the clan motto.

The launch will celebrate the single act of courage that an ancestor of Clan Mackenzie made when saving King Alexander III in 1263 from being gored by a stag, a scene that is depicted in the painting. 

The star of the show will be this iconic piece of art, quite literally, as not only will the largest painting in the gallery (5.4m x 3.3m) take pride of place at this event, it will also be projected on to the National Gallery itself for one night only, so that the whole of Edinburgh can appreciate its brilliance in an entirely new way.

The partnership aims to raise funds to help refurbish and maintain Castle Leod and to support a range of activities organised by The Clan Mackenzie Society of Scotland & The UK. 

According to The Dalmore’s master distiller Richard Paterson this is the first step of a long-term commitment, and the brand is hoping to raise a seven figure sum in the next 10 years to help protect this important piece of Scottish history.

He added: “Whether you are a Mackenzie or not, with only 3,000 bottles available globally, this is your chance to own a little piece of Scottish history. 

“I have been nurturing casks at The Dalmore and monitoring their progress for some four decades.  The challenge to craft a whisky fit for the Earl and all Mackenzies was an inspiration. I am proud to be able to help the clan by creating a whisky with a regal heritage and one which is truly fit for a king…….as well as a Clan Chief!”

Each limited edition bottle will be individually numbered and is adorned with the Clan and the brand’s iconic Royal stag formed in molten metal. All purchasers are entitled to claim a limited edition print of the famous painting personally signed by the head of the Clan himself who continues to reside at Castle Leod.

The Earl of Cromartie and chief of the clan, John Mackenzie, says; “As the head of the Clan I speak for all Mackenzie’s to say that we are really excited to be part of this special event which brings to life this iconic painting in more ways than one, celebrating a piece of history that forms the foundation of our joint heritage, as well as the dawn of a new era in our continued partnership with the distillery. 

“I am delighted that The Dalmore are supporting the preservation of Castle Leod for not only me, but for the Clan, and for Mackenzies around the world and of course for Scotland”

Richard Paterson concluded: “This is the first step in a longer journey with the Clan Mackenzie as we work together for mutual benefit. The Dalmore and the Clan are inextricably linked. There are not many brands in the world that have these true royal connections, and we hope to announce more projects like this over the next couple of years. Watch this space.”


Some additional information:

 About The Mackenzie Dalmore

This limited release bottle can be purchased from all good independent whisky specialists for £100 (RSP) including the The Whisky Exchange, Royal Mile Whiskies, The Whisky Shop chain, Selfridges, Harrods, all good bars and of course at the Dalmore Distillery Visitor Centre (  It will also be available in good stockists in USA, France, Germany, New Zealand and in Global Travel Retail.

Tasting Notes

The first spirit used was distilled in 1992 and held in American white oak casks for some 11 years. The Dalmore then finessed the whisky by re-filling to fresh port pipes from the douro.  The natural soft amber red hue – drawn from the port pipes – links the colour of the whisky to the blood of the injured stag.  Bottled at 46% abv, the Mackenzie bottling is a commanding, intense and courageous fit for all aristocracy and proffers hints of vanilla, red fruits, spices and the brand’s classic signature citrus orange

About ‘Fury of the Stag’

In 1786 Benjamin West, historical artist to King George III, commemorated Mackenzie’s encounter with the stag in a vast painting, commissioned by Francis Humberston Mackenzie. The painting remained in the Mackenzie family seat of Castle Leod until 1952, and now hangs in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh ( ).  A commanding and impressive sight, the painting is huge at 5.4m * 3.3 m in size and is situated in the very first viewing room in the gallery.

The Clan Mackenzie Society of Scotland & The UK

Castle Leod in Strathpeffer (near Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland) is the Home of the Chief of the Clan Mackenzie and Seat of the Clan Mackenzie. The Society ( ) organises and attends a variety of events each year including the Strathpeffer Highland Games in August.  They are always looking for new members in the UK and from overseas from not only Mackenzies but also any Septs of the Clan, which are listed on their website.

18 Responses to “New: The Dalmore Mackenzie”

  1. lawschooldrunk says:

    I love Richard’s enthusiasm!

  2. B.;J. Reed says:

    Our Dundee Dell group just left Richard at Dalmore disillery and tasted the Mackenzie – the port finish is very nice – added nice fruit and chocolate om palate with very long finish –

    Nice dram plus we tried the 18 which we have not seen in the stated – Richard said there is some demand to reintroduce the cigar malt

  3. B.;J. Reed says:

    We (Dundee Dell) just left the Dalmore distillery with Richard and tasted the Mackenzie – vey nice – the marriage of the Bourbon and Port produced a malt with lots of fruit and chocolate and wonderful finish!

    Also tried 18 which I have not seen in states.

  4. Richard is a larger than life personality, and probably the most entertaining Brand Ambassador in the industry. He graced us with his time and energy at our Robbie Burns Supper 4 years ago and reaffirmed that he is without doubt one of the whisky industry’s best showmen!

    I’ve found Dalmore a mixed bag over the years with some bottlings exceptional and others average. But I like the sounds of this one and am a sucker for Port Finishes. I look forward to trying this new expression, and hope some will find its way to Canada.

    Any idea when the Arctic Whisky will be released…

  5. BJ, that was quick!

    Andrew, no news yet on the whisky from Shackleton’s hut. It’s still there at the moment!

    Gal, thanks for the kind words!

    As for the Mackenzie, it was a good night last night – there’s some decent pics on blogs (I’ve linked to them from ) and here’s hoping it can help raise funds for The Clan.

  6. And Andrew! If you check my blog post, there’s details on international retails outlets for the Dalmore Mackenzie.

    • Richard,

      Being one of those retailers, in Calgary, Canada; , I would love to have some on my shelf. Just have to convince the importer, if it is even available to them!


      • Derek MacKenzie Mawbey says:

        Well Andrew…it appears that you were successful in bringing in the Dalmore MacKenzie as I just purchased 2 bottles yesterday…THANK YOU for bringing it to Calgary. I have a question and maybe you can help. My family (MacKenzie) is having a family reunion this summer in Canmore and I was hoping I could obtain the free print of “The Fury of the Stag” or “The Death of the Stag” offered by Dalmore with this special bottle of Dalmore MacKenzie. Unfortuntaely, Dalmore ended the offer on Dec 31, 2010 so it’s no longer available. Is there any way you were able to obtain one of these print or could obtain one? I would love to have one for our 2011 MacKenzie reunion and would be willing to pay a fair price. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Derek MacKenzie Mawbey. Calgary.

        • Derek MacKenzie Mawbey says:

          Does anyone have one of these prints of “The Death of a Stag” or “The Fury of the Stag”??? I would love to buy one for a reasonable price. If you have one and are willing to sell it, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

  7. Robinski says:

    Richard, I used to hang out with Chris MacKenzie in Edinburgh back in the day. He claimed his grandfather owned Dalmore. He had one of the old distillery mirrors on the wall of his living room.

    • Chris Mackenzie says:

      Hi there Robinski, great to hear from you. It’s not a “claim” as it is the truth, as not only did Dalmore belong to my great-grandfather and grandfather, but also my father, who ran it for his entire career until the mid 1980’s. I’m impressed that you remember the mirror on the wall, which I still have. Go well.

  8. Seth Nadel says:

    Good Scotch. I remember when the only whisky available from them were the 12yr and Cigar Malt. Times sure have changed.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      And don’t forget the 21 year old, Seth– the one that used to sell for the same price as the new 15 and was better too. Or the 28 year old Stillman’s Dram– the one that was way better than the new 18, bottled at a higher strength and a good deal cheaper! Yes the times certainly have changed 🙂

  9. MrTH says:

    Undoubtedly Mr Paterson’s promotional skills impress many.

  10. Derek MacKenzie Mawbey says:

    I recenlty purchased two bottles of this fine Scotch (thanks to Andrew Ferguson, Kensington Wine & Spirits in Calgary, Canada). However, I missed the Dec 21, 2010 deadline for the Free Print of “Fury of the Stag”. If ANYONE has one of these prints and would like to make it available, I would be VERY interested and would of course pay a fair price and shipping costs.

    Derek MacKenzie Mawbey

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