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Friday, January 19, 2024

Mannochmore 18 year old 1990, Special Release 2009

Enjoying a pair of great, young, spirity Mannochmores was one of this week's highlights. Drinking shouldn't be the highlight of a healthy person's week, but who said I was a healthy person?

Time to wrap up the fun with one of Diageo's Special Releases from back in the day when the releases were special. Though an 18-year-old Mannochmore was never going to leap off the shelves, it was nice for the braintrust behind Loch Dhu to offer a proper Mann to the masses.

Distillery: Mannochmore
Ownership: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Elgin)
Range: Special Relases
Age: 18 years (1990 - 23 April 2009)
Maturation: American oak and European oak casks
Outturn: 3210 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 54.9%
(from a bottle split)


In the nose, the fruits (peaches, apricots, honeydew) mix with florals and honey upfront. Dry sherry nuttiness stays just behind, with hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds as highlights. The first sip offers a curious burst of Petite Sirah that never returns in subsequent sips. Then tart blueberries, citrus peels, almonds, ginger, and mint take over. French oak-style baking spices arrive later, slowly consuming all else, while also contributing a silky texture. It finishes with blood oranges, mint, lemons, those French oak spices, and a subtle creaminess.

DILUTED to ~46%, or >1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Baking spices and apricots start the nose, followed by orange creamsicles, golden raisins, and a hint of sugary pastry. The palate matches the nose here. Oranges and oak spices (cloves and ginger powder) meet mild florals, with the whole thing turning into oranges+ginger after a while. It finishes with cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and lemon peels.


Ah, here are some double standards. You'll note references to oak oak oak oak oak. But I like French oak notes, within reason, so this whisky fits my palate better than all the contemporary US oak monsters. Yet, this isn't as thrilling this week's previous two Mannochmores. It's a very good easy drinker that I wouldn't mind owning at whatever its 2009 price was, but........yeah, it's ultimately all about the casks here, not the Mannochmore.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86