Loch Dhu 10 (Mannochmore)
Added on Thursday, Jul 8, 2010 at 09:42 PM
  Bottler: OB
  Age: 10 yrs Type: Scotch
  Vintage: N/A Subtype: Single Malt
  ABV: 40.00 % Region: Speyside
  Price: N/A Availability: Collectors Only

"The Black Whisky" distilled at Mannochmore and first released in 1996. It was not well-received, and was discontinued a year or so later. It still remains the butt of single-malt jokes today (not that there are a lot of single malt jokes to begin with, but, whatever). The malt was not without its followers, however -- and that combined with the whisky's relative infamy gives it its current status as a sort of novelty collectible.


The deep color is due to caramel coloring, and not the "double-charred barrels" the marketing campaigns claimed.

Member Ratings and Notes

Nose of chardonnay, caramel, honey, hint of strawberry yogurt and solvent. Palate -- hmm. It passes the sip test, but not the have-a-glass test. Initially a little sweet, then subsequent sips become all about a bitter wateryness, and that's most of what's going on here… just a flat, moderate bitterness that coats your mouth and sticks through the lengthy and oddly drying finish. Reminds me of chewing on leather gloves -- like when you bite them in your mouth to pull them off.


Strange and difficult to drink at length. D/D+ because I "like" it slightly better than other stuff I've given straight D's to.

N: Funny and cooked, teriyaki sauce, figs, and molasses.
P: Vaguely sweet but then vanishes in the middle palate.  Surprising there is not more there based on the nose.
F: Um, yeah, here's where things go all to hell.   The lingering taste is burnt nasty blech*.  Really quite bad, and it does not register as scotch at all.   Who made this?   Please fall on your sword now.

*Blech is a German / Yiddish term for a metal sheet used to cover stovetop burners.   I bet if you licked one it would tasted like Loch Dhu. 
Bad cough syrup.  Looks like bile.  Sexy sexy bile.

The only redeeming quality Loch Dhu has is that it's bad in a new and exciting way.  Other scotches are bad in a similar fashion.  Loch Dhu finds a different way to redefine bad scotch.  It's like a rotten banana tasting like a moldy tire instead of a rotten banana.  Sure it's bad, but how'd they do that?

If you do scotch you must do Dhu.  It's a rite of passage.

Given that it's the "black whisky," it's hard not to comment on the color, which resembles a strong cup of French Roast.  The nose has malt with a strong balsamic vinegar element, very unpleasant.  As it first hits your tongue, the stuff seems okay with a malty flavor, but there there is a rush of prune juice.  It ends with a really strong bitterness which settles into a long bitter finish.  It tastes like Scotch mixed with prune juice and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Yeah, this stuff pretty much deserves its reputation.  It's wretched but also sort of fascinatingly bad (like an old B movie), which is the only thing that saves it from "F" territory.

Charred maple syrup and licorice.  Wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. 

N: Strong spirit, hint of raisins, salty kind of soy-sauce smell, stale, vaguely leathery, a low-grade hint of sherry. A little brown sugar as well. 


P: Spirit and not much else. Murky, flabby, kind of sherried, kind of sweet, don't really have the notes as much as it just sits there. Light mouthfeel, semi-warm.


F: Flat, wet cardboard, raisins, earthy. Kind of sweet too, lacking vitality. Mildly astringent, kind of woody bitterness but not strong - just perceptible.


It's not good, but it's Plan 9 bad, not Manos bad. There are far worse whiskies out there (looking at you, Usuikyou), but this is not worth the time, aside from a mandatory stop on the bad whiskey curiosity trail. It looks awful, smells funky and is just muddy and indistinct.  

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