Mannochmore 25 YO 1990 53.4%

3rd SpRel 3954 bottles 2016, 1st bb/virgin am barrels/virgin eur oak/1st sh butts

Price: £250
Score: 91p (N: 21 T: 24 A: 23 C: 23)
Mannochmore is exciting at normal age, great character with personality. At old age it becomes a bit edgy, trying to sort aromas, especially difficult on the nose. Pending clean honey scent, sometimes fruit cake, deeper down sour sock. Watered jumbled salad/brown sugar (simple-minded). More water evens out, marshmallows and apple rings plus sweet coffee. The taste is also ambivalent. Fine fruit start turns into syrup and neutral sweet oak with crispbread. Water doesn’t help much, the same defensive attitude, in the aftertaste the sweetness dissipates, warming oak takes over with bitter tremors that makes it a bit more exciting. I’m about to give up, but a last splash of water makes everything falls into place. Slow sophisticated palate, crawling exotic esters becomes apple syrup, halfway itchy fat oak eases, towards the end a slight breath of smoke – just brilliant! Thinner calmer but also longer after play. Lemon cream and marzipan become lemon curd and lemon balm. Also menthol/smoke-flickering, plus ethereal oak warmth. Very good and full of character. And what a game change, the whisky suddenly went from 85 to 91 points!