It seems there is an idea beginning to circulate that Mannochmore are planning the release of another black whisky, with a name other than Loch Dhu.
Can anyone shed any light on this; true, maybe or silly rumour?
I was asked the question and although I thought it unlikely after the horror of Loch Dhu, I decided to ask on here just in case anyone may have heard anything to the contrary.
Loch Dhu was a strange phenomenon, I have as yet to hear anyone say they like(d) it to drink. But it was something unusual and was very successful with collectors. Even today it sells for very good prices, but I guess the people buying are not going to drink it.
Conversely, Black Bowmore still great for collectors and a good investment, is also reputed to be a fantastic dram to drink.
I have not yet had the pleasure of trying it, but what I hear from those who have is always very positive praise.
Would Mannochmore try to "get it right" as a next attempt?
Probably not and I think they could only really lose from any attempt.
As I understand it, it's made on behalf of a danish importer, but you can buy at RMW and presumably at ohter retailers as well
And no, I have not tasted it - and are not particular keen to do so
"double charred" was the reason given by the distillery to explain the colour of the Loch Dhu whereas everyone knew that it came from the excessive use of artificial colouring.
The Cu Dhub is a whisky which comes from The Speyside Distillery and is coloured in Denmark by the importer afaik to revive the experience of the Loch Dhu.
Why anybody wants to do that escapes me.
the whisky file =mentions loch dhu the black whisky it has been finished in a heavily charred oak cask
michael jackson =the whisky derives from a secret preperation involving the double charring of selected bourbon barrels the best guess is first a spraying and then a charring -involved caramelization
Frankly, I wouldn't put faith in Michael Jackson's line for a moment. Not to say that he's being dishonest, but he would only be repeating the official line from the distillery. You only need to read some of his other comments (particularly about some infamous Macallan bottlings) to know that he's not going to spill the beans. I think he leaves that for Jim Murray!
The word on the street, certainly that generated by folks like us, is that it was caramel, caramel, caramel. My club tasted it one night (sadly, I was absent that night), but they've done nothing but complain about the caramel ever since.
And yes, to answer someone's question above, you can taste spirit caramel in bottlings, despite the "notion" that its undetectable.
In reply to the point that noone liked it - that's not the case. I met a woman called Morag who, when discussing whisky, spontaneously said that she really liked a whisky called Loch Dhu, but that she couldn't get it any more. It takes all tastes...
hello Richard on my bottle of Loch Dhu there is the official explanation about special barrels and so on.
After making the mistake of opening the bottle and actually trying to drink that, I did not believe a word.
In the Whisky Lexikon by Prof. Walter Schobert, a German whisky writer and expert he states that the whisky must have been barreled in 1986 as it came out at the end of 1996 as a ten year old.
Mannochmore was in posession of the DCL in 1986 and Mr. Schobert states correctly that that body was never known as being very innovative or keen on experimenting. Au contraire if you have something in mind attached with DCL it is its conservativ approach. Therefore he goes on it is unlikely that something like Loch Dhu was conceived in DCL times.
He also speaks of the dark brown to orange reflexes in the black colour which is a sure sign for caramel and that UD never admited to the extensive colouring.
you just prompted me to look at my bottle and I find:
"A fine malt, patiently rested in charred, sweet oak casks to create a whisky as black as night, with a rich velvety taste. Savour the smooth, intense flavour and discover hidden complexities in this unique black whisky"
As for the age / dates:
I bought this in 1997 when I found it in a shop in the UK. So I guess release at the end of 1996 is spot on. The original shop price for my litre was 20 GBP.
my source told me about the double charring as well as fake whiskies
coming from italy and many other things and hes never been wrong yet imust admit i never found caramel as i was screwing up my face i never dilutte my whiskies unless cask strentgh then to what strentgh i lik
my thoughts are still charcoal from the double charring of the barrels and as we can se nobody is really sure we dont believe what the offical line is so who do we believe
I have to confess that, for the moment, I believe the term is a marketing invention, to explain the black colour of Loch Dhu without mentioning the addition of buckets of caramel.
Well, it's somewhere in here and dated 2004:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopi ... 6df0a6fb61
I'd agree with that.
The closest brewing analogy I can think of is the old McEwan's Pale Ale, which was specially prepared to cater for West of Scotland drinkers' tastes as a jet-black beer. I understand from a former brewer who actually made the stuff, that the colour was achieved by adding (a lot of) caramel after the brewing process was complete. It gave the beer a "burnt", sweet liquorice-ish aftertaste that's akin to the nasty (imho!) flavour in Loch Dhu.
"double charred" is a ridiculous term in the first place nothing more. If you charr a barrels twice or thrice the charcoal layer gets thicker but certainly not "blacker". If Loch Dhu came from double charred barrels with an excess (if such is possible) of charcoal it would be black and nothing else. But it is not black but brown to orange and we know where that comes from. Whisky that is matured in "single charred barrels" does not show a black colour by the way so why should that happen with double charring? That whisky colour from ex-bourbon casks be they charrd anew or used as they came from the Kentucky or Tennessee distillery give very light coloured whiskies but they show a distinct whisky colour and are certainly not black.
The whole concept sounds more and more like a marketing ruse I think because it is!
New make is clear like water in every distillery I know of when it comes from the stills no matter how dark or light the wash was. Any colour in a matured whisky comes from the barrel or from caramel.
asking around a bit I got a hint that Mannochmore can not admit to colouring the Loch Dhu with caramel because they didn´t!
The secret of the colour lies here:
Paxarette, also Pajarete is the name of a sweet condensed vino de color wine made generally with Pedro Ximenez grapes and finished by mixing the wine with essences, called arrope or sancocho, which are produced by boiling must down to a fifth and a third respectively. Pajarete was popular as a straight dessert wine in England in the eighteenth century and gets its name from a monastery and vineyards situated near Arcos- de- la- Frontera.
Casks are conditioned by using pressure to make the paxarette entering the upper layers of tired or spent sherry casks (I think you could use any othe cask type as well) and the result is quite different from a fresh or refill sherry cask.
On the use of paxarette see here in short.
The use of paxarette was intentional with Loch Dhu but I am not able to say when the whisky came into the so conditioned casks.
As I said, that was just a hint and I have no further or confirmed information on the subject. But I am curious.
And I certainly don't know of a paxaretted whisky that has that distinctive "burnt ashes" Loch Dhu flavour.
Rather, in my experience at least, paxarette gives a sweet sherry-like taste, as one might expect given the nature of the additive.
I do have a couple of Port Ellen's in my collection (matured in sherry casks) that are almost as black as the Loch Dhu and the ones that I've tried have a very strong taste of sherry, i.e. very sweet.
It seems they managed to maintain the secret of the Loch Dhu colour pretty good...
U.K is 5.50GBP per bottle and the transportation of the stuff is about 1.50GBP per bottle (providing all the bottles go as a pallate).
This stuff is like gold !!
I can't speak to its 'nose', or bouquet, or subtle blend of flavors that one needs a certain income level to afford the learning process; when one's income is under $2,000.00 per month, dropping several hundred dollars on a single bottle of scoth is counter-intuitive, no matter how much one would like to appreciate it.
I liked Loch Dhu's strong character, however it was achieved. It might not go well with Beef Wellington or Steak Tartare, but it was great with Sirloin Beef patties or Steaks off the grill. While it was available I offered it to a number of friends who, like me, were working class stiffs for whom $200.00 bottles of any liquor were impractical; they also liked it just fine.
Lock Dhu was a niche scotch which unfortunately never had the chance to develop a large enough following to create its niche. Oddly, it reminds me somewhat of the story behind of all things Disney's classic masterpiece, "Fantasia". When it was released in 1940 it bombed at the box office. Classical music afficianados were horrified that Disney took liberties with classical scores to fit them into his film, while his working class audience thought it was much too highbrow for a cartoon. It took over twenty years and multiple releases before it broke even. Now it's hailed as a masterpiece. Loch Dhu will never be hailed as a masterpiece, but it was an interesting experiment that served its niche well, a low end single malt with a different taste.
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