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Friday, June 10, 2016

Single Malt Report: Mannochmore 11 year old 2003 SMWS 64.60

While I do not begrudge anyone who belongs to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (especially those who have shared samples!), membership to SMWS makes no sense for my budget.  $229 membership fee and then an annual $70 renewal fee just to get the right to buy single cask whiskies?  While SMWS does bottle some sensational casks, so does Signatory and AD Rattray and Gordon & Macphail and Whisky Doris and Archives and......you get my point.  That $229 could go towards a number of excellent single malts (though it won't go as far as it used to).  Five years of membership without buying a single bottle would cost $509.  Dang.  That's a one-way flight to Scotland itself.  So clearly SMWS is for ballers only.  If you haven't already gathered from this site, I'm not a baller; I'm a bawler.

How about a review?

Distillery: Mannochmore (SMWS 64)
Ownership: Diageo
Independent Bottler: Single Malt Whisky Society
Funny name: Hemingway daiquiri
Age: 11 years (June 11, 2003 - 2015)
Maturation: first-fill ex-bourbon
Cask#: 64.60
Alcohol by Volume: 62.3%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(sample provided by Brett from his own purchased bottle. Thanks, Brett!)

The nose starts off with marshmallows and coconut creme, then graham crackers and brown sugar.  It exists somewhere between whoopie pies and Twix bars.  With 30 mins of air, some new notes of charcoal and hay linger around a vanilla bean.

The palate has an intense sharpness, though that's likely due to the big ABV.  Lime juice, peach juice, vanilla bean, cantaloupe, and a hint of marshmallows make up the rest.

It finishes with peaches, sugar cookies, graham cracker crust, and gummi bears.  Pretty long and hot.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
Caramel sauce, toasted nuts, and vanilla bean start off the nose, followed by hints of peach and malt.

The palate gets thicker, clearer, darker.  New notes of berry syrup, toffee, watermelon jolly ranchers, molasses, and soft smoke appear.  It still holds its sweetness, especially with some peach candy.

It finishes with a complex rich sweetness.  Whisky toffee pudding, plums, and a whiff of smoke.

Wow, this is really good.  I dare say water opens it up too.  I don't have a sweet tooth, but this still makes for a great dessert malt that would pair with a lot of good side sweets.  SMWS's cask pickers plucked this one at the right time because that rich cask would have totally swallowed up the malt within another year or two.  For Society members, sorry, this one has already sold out.  :(

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $110-ish
Rating - 88