Mannochmore: 12 Year (Speyside Scottish Single Malt Whisky: 12 Years: 43% ABV)

Visual: Light white grape juice.

Viscosity: Quite slow to form, but thick streaks from the spirit.

Nose: Smooth. Vanilla and white grapes. Grain fields and lime. Slight sherried fruit. Water adds a very dry cider touch and pressed orange juice.

Body: Very smooth, light at the front and sweet. Grapes again, planed wood. Water makes lighter, possibly too light and adds slight red grapes.

Finish: Slightly spicy. Malt chocolate and vanilla custard. Water adds slight charring and rum spice.

Conclusion:  A more formidable whisky that it first seems, though that’s not hard to do.  Initially very light and almost too smooth, it doesn’t make much of an impact. After a few moments to settle on the tongue you get past that light front to be able to recognise the flavours that tingle behind.

Lots of grapes in the main body, mainly white grapes but with some red grape spiciness as well. Very much gives a wine feel, although I doubt it has been anywhere near a wine cask.

A very light and fruity whisky with just a hint of spice. Not one to add water to, it doesn’t have the body for that to work.  It’s a light refresher, maybe to have between courses for a meal, or as a light aside with dessert.

Background: Had at a quiet tavern where the owner was happy to talk about the whisky, I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was well aware of who Michael Jackson was, and of the different whisky regions. Mannochmore used to make the famous “Black Whisky” the Loch Dhu, though it has been suggested that that’s whisky’s colour may have been due to somewhat artificial colourings rather than a natural property of the whisky. Looking at this very light whisky I can easily believe that to be so.