Thursday, August 5, 2021

Mannochmore 13, Scapa 20, Strathmill 11, Kaio The Sherry, Clynelish 14 G&M

Mannochmore 13, Carn Mor Strictly Limited, 47.5%
A limited edition from PX Sherry aged Mannochmore which not a common distillery to see in retail. The nose is full of orange oil and sweet sherry fruit notes leaning towards quite sweet tropical fruit punch. Surprisingly… hollow on the palate. There’s plenty of oak and nuttyness but none of the sweetness that the nose promises shows up and the palate ending up almost non-existent in the middle before oak and sherry spice kick in. Due to that missing mid-palate this aftertaste ends up slightly bitter and nearly off-putting with a tons and tons of the burnt walnuts going on in there. Interestingly most of malt character seems to be missing or so buried under sherry that there’s nothing to balance out the other notes and the experience is very disjointed even if this is something unique and different. It does get better with repeated sips but the nose promises and doesn’t deliver and the palate is somewhat mellow sweet but mostly hollow for me. On the plus side the sherry is well integrated, firm but not overwhelming. If the sherry level was same and this was circa 18 years old… It’d be amazing with more cask vanilla and complex flavors, as it stands, it is a good effort that’s frankly falls rather ‘flat’ in practice.
https://www.whiskyba … iskies/whisky/167869
Score: C+

Scapa 20, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, 2000, 56.2%
A K&L Exclusive Gordon & McPhail bottling of a refill sherry 20 year old Scapa. Never tried the distillery. Let’s try for the checkbox. Sherried cologne on the nose with solid citrus zest core that veers slightly into varnish. To be fair the nose is fairly generic sherried malt. Varnish notes mostly dissipate after about 15 mins in a glass. The palate is full of citrus primarily burnt oranges, solid sherry palate is quite creamy and mouth-coating in consistency which is great for… Aftertaste is fantastic, long woody and a little spicy and warming; very pleasant with more of that burnt orange skins. Perhaps slightly reminds me of a not too sweet old fashioned cocktail. The aftertaste takes the win on this one with nose and palate being alright. I wish I had some Deanston 20 to SbS this with but from my memory it reminds me of the two which isn’t a bad thing. Value to be honest is rather low being an IB circa 169 but fans of citrusy dry sherry are welcome to apply as it’s above average.
https://www.whiskyba … iskies/whisky/178187
Score: B+

Strathmill 11, Carn Mor Limited, STR Cask. 47.5%
This is an STR cask meaning… it underwent a specific Shaving, Toasting and Re-Charring process, likely ex-sherry cask that was then STR’ed. A prominent charry woody sherried nose with a very dark color. Dark plum notes with a bit of sherry varnish dominate. Palate is dominated by the nose notes. Charry, woody and a little bit of sweetness, this reminds me greatly of a bourbon. Something along the lines of Eagle Rare that’s still got a bit of malt and sherry in it. Quite interesting but certainly not an everyday drink due to concentration and youth, making it very cask-forward but not quite subtle. This would be well appreciated by bourbon-lovers that want to get into single malt. I’m actually somewhat enjoying this overall but the almost entire absence of any secondary flavors is quite disappointing for a single malt to commit to a full bottle.
https://www.whiskyba … iskies/whisky/171455
Score: B+

Mystery Sample, ???
A mystery sample which I will fill in details in after the review, as I’ve been asked to review this blind. The nose is oloroso sherry with that note that I call ‘woody varnish’ though it’s not true varnish but somewhere between paint thinner and actual wood lacquer smell. This is specifically the note that Oloroso (and the like) evoke in my mind. For comparison, PX has stewed fruit compote and figs and is very distinctly different on the nose. Anyways, back to this. This is nutty woody oloroso. With a bit of alcohol in the mix. Creamy sweet and sherried consistency. I’m pretty sure this is single malt. Somewhat reminds of Mannochmore 13 up above. Plenty of sherry and wood that combine into chocolate flavors but not a whole of subtle secondary notes, suggesting youngish spirit overall. More balanced toasted sweet wood (chocolate) and little dusty spices that come up in the aftertaste. This slightly reminds me of a Glendronach 12 with the sherry and the malt. Overall: I like it, it’s a somewhat nutty-sweet sherry bomb number that’s manages to be quite tasty. Relative youth makes it a tricky one to truly enjoy since the casks hide most imperfections but overall I’d enjoy it for a casual pour. Also, the more I drink the more I seem to enjoy it for what it is. Value: Unknown, but ‘good’ for anything under $100.
Guesses: Single Malt. Oloroso Sherry casks, likely 1st fill, age: 12 years or less, proof: 90. Country of origin: Scotland (by playing the numbers game of chances it not being a scotch). I’m not going to guess at distillery as there’s at least 20 distilleries in Scotland that I can think of that could produce a sherry bomb such as this, though nutty/sweet profile somewhat suggests Speyside.
https://www.whiskyba … iskies/whisky/182831
Score: A-
After reading the actual link: “Kaiyo The Sheri”… Woooowee! Was I wrong on country of origin (japan) here… and the casks type, and thinking this was a single cask of some sorts. But instead it’s a triple cask of PX, Oloroso and Mizunara… Also, to be fair, Mizunara oak gets completely drowned out by the sherry casks so I would have never guessed that. I was correct on proof and it being a malt at least, and very likely the youth. With the price of $130+ it makes it somewhat of a medium value (not factored into score) which is somewhat overshadowed by occasional independently bottled Speysider. And yes, it still reminds me of Speyside sherried scotch.

Clynelish 14, G&M Connoisseurs Choice, 2006, 55.5%
A bit of a treat for myself. Waxy honeycomb, some sherry, nuts and dried plums on the nose. Also, alcohol but it is well balanced by the other smells. Oh, so much honey and honeycomb on the palate, with nutty and spicy undertones. Milk chocolate and hazelnut are all over the aftertaste. Overall: This is a treat and a once in a while pour, highly complex and sophisticated beyond its years. The whole complexity package that drinks easily circa 20 instead of its stated age of 14. Get yourself a bottle or a pour if you can, and contemplate about the glass, this is certainly a rare excellence. Value: IIRC this was $139… Don’t worry that this is twice the price of the regular 14. This is fantastic. Though I’d think twice if it was past $160.
https://www.whiskyba … iskies/whisky/184614
Score: A

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown