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Tasting notes for Loch Dhu 10 year old (Mannochmore distillery)

Distillery bottling
40% a.b.v.

Labeled “The Black Whisky”, and meant to appeal to a younger market than usually consumes whisky. It’s not so much black as the color of an equal mixture of espresso and blood. The nose is closed, inexpressive, slightly charred. The palate is blatantly offensive. There is something unmistakably wrong with it. It tastes like cigar ashes mixed with vodka and moldy blackberry jam. The only nice note is in the background, with some hints of dark chocolate covered espresso beans. But it’s the finish that really gets you, actually making me recoil, grimace, and frantically shake my head. It’s nauseating. It tastes spoiled. It’s unbelievable that it was commercially marketed. One understands at once where the rumor of “a production accident at Mannochmore” came from. If you ever have tasted, say, an old dumpy Cadenhead that sat with a faulty cork for twenty years on a hot, dusty shelf, you know what you are in for. It tastes ruined in the bottle, contaminated. And I assure you, it’s not just my bottle.

For the sake of science and journalism I tasted it again for you, my readers, just to write these notes. You can see the sacrifices I undertake for you. And before the nut jobs out there ask, yes, I know where you can get it. Against all possible logic it is now a collector’s item, and Sukhinder at The Whisky Exchange has it for $170. Enjoy.

Suggested for:
Never, ever. But there’s no accounting for taste, as they say, so if you like it, more power to you.

This review has generated … um … a bit of feedback. Here’s my favorite:

With all dhu respect, your review of Loch Dhu proves to me that you either never tried it (but perhaps thought you did) or your taste buds, nose and eyes are sadly impaired) – or – you’re just trying to be funny with your wild exaggerations.

Whether you like the scotch or not, your descriptions are absurd. The nose is anything but “closed, unexpressive, slightly charred”. It has a pleasant bouquet albeit not especially nuanced. Slightly charred? You’re supposed to sniff it and drink it – not stare at it. Even then, it doesn’t really look “charred”, just black – and not, by the way, the color of espresso and blood. Did you think you were waxing poetic when you said that? – or funny? – or both? – or how about neither? And what were you attempting to be with the almost laughable exaggerations, “like cigar ashes mixed with vodka and moldy blackberry jam”. Oh, how clever. I’m sure you have an intimate knowledge of those tastes. Interesing that you would find such unimagineable horrors lurking within this pleasant little single malt scotch whiskey with the very smooth and velvety feel, and a lightness of taste belied by its darkness of color (black).

But there’s more – and here it sounds like something written by a 12-year-old. The finish made you recoil, grimace, and frantically shake your head?! It’s nauseating?! It tastes spoiled?! Oh, really?! Are you the author of that children’s Halloween poem, “Great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts”?

To quote Debra Barone in “Everybody Loves Raymond”, Who’s the nut job now…? Who’s the nut job now?

Wow. The Web is an odd place. I chose that one for two reasons: it’s both the most amusing flame I’ve gotten about this review, and the most literate. Really.

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