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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Loch Dhu, part deux

Speaking of questionable whisky ideas, Loch Dhu everyone!

Yes, I previously reviewed this, one of the world's most reviled whiskies, but I had another sample from possibly the same bottle. And we've all gotten a little older in the five years since. I'd also tried another regrettable whisky this week so I thought, "What the hell."

For those who have never see Loch Dhu, it is black like crude oil. It's similarly, terrifyingly viscous, as it still sticks to the sides of the sample bottle four days later. I don't know why this product was created, with its Coca-Cola (or higher) levels of e150a. Mannochmore distillery produces some very good single malt. Why did United Distillers choose to do it wrong?

Distillery: Mannochmore
Ownership: United Distillers (proto-Diageo)
Region: Speyside (Lossie)
Age: minimum 10 years
Maturation: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 40%
Chillfiltered? Yes
Caramel Colored? Dhu
(Thank you to Andy, again)

It has a bold nose for its low strength, made up of coffee grounds, caramel candy, prune juice, Worcestershire sauce, mold and burnt garlic. There are burnt raisins, burnt celery, burnt cardboard on the palate. And all those burnt bitter things float in a sour vinegar puddle. The finish is very bitter and very sour, but also has mellow chocolatey side to it.

This is nowhere near as horrifying as its reputation, and better than I'd remembered it to be. I'm not saying it's good whisky. It's shit. But there are foul strata, and Loch Dhu does not rest on the bottom layer. Its nose is plenty strange, and not exactly what one would describe as alluring. But it's sniffable, and sort of interesting. The palate is bad, approaching one's lowest expectations, yet the finish's chocolate note approaches appealing.

While the whisky isn't the worst, it's still among the most regrettable of whisky ideas. I wish it had served as a lesson to the SWA that e150a should be banned with the rest of the additives. But no one learned anything. So enjoy all your orange Diageo whiskies!

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - ???
Rating - 55