My recent post about @aberlour led to many comments that people are tending to prefer indie bottlings over Distillery ones, citing better quality and price. Let’s put that to the test with a side by side of Mannochmore Distillery.
On the left is a @gordonandmacphail distilled in 1994 and bottled in 2015 from refilled sherry butts. On the right is the official Flora and Fauna release, aged 12Yrs and no info as to provenance.
Mannochmore was built next to Glenlossie Distillery in 1971 is infamous for Loch Dhu. Between 1989 and 1994 the same workforce operated each distillery for 6 months a year until Mannochmore was mothballed between 1995 and 1997. Therefore the G&M bottle represents some of the last spirit from that era - potentially a change in style between the two?
Mannochmore 1994 (bottled 2015) - 46% ABV
Nose - stewed apples, sultanas, almost calvados. A pine forest, oranges, cloves and a bit of custard.
Palate - fresh and vibrant, pears, grapes, cola cubes, lime cordial
Finish - star anise, Garibaldi biscuits
Mannochmore 12Yr - 43% ABV
Nose - whiff of ethanol, mints and butter candy, metallic yet malty.
Palate - cherry drops, brown bread, grass and vanilla extract. Something a bit harsh about the whole thing, and it’s not the ABV!
Finish - the tongue is overwhelmed by heat, of the cheap, vodka kind as the harshness continues. At the end some buttery honey appears, but really as an after thought once the heat has burnt off.
Water makes the whole thing more bearable with banana and tropical fruit, but the heat is still there in the corners.
So, a tale of two different whiskies. Was the 1994 spirit cut better, or has better quality wood smoothed some of the edges? Either way, at £70 for the G&M 21Yr compared to £42 for the F&F 12Yr, once again Gordon and Macphail are not only providing value for money but hands down better quality across the board.
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