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Loch Dhu

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Loch Dhu

Postby Jenny » Thu Oct 24, 2002 3:09 pm

After so many postings about the infamous Loch Dhu in "It's blended", I thought it would be do continue the discussion here, if any...

I have just two questions :

1) How do they manage to produce such a whisky? I mean the ingredients are the same... (ok, ok, same questions applies to the greatest of all, but still...)

2) How can they survive if the whisky is so bad? No one would buy it. The St.Magdalene distillery is teared down and their great whisky becomes slowly extinct while Loch Dhu ist still produced. How is that possible?

Jenny

PS : Do they sell it for blends?
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Postby Jenny » Thu Oct 24, 2002 3:30 pm

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Postby lexkraai » Thu Oct 24, 2002 4:17 pm

Jenny, Loch Dhu isn't produced anymore and it was pulled off the shelf not very long after launch ...

I have heard that remaining bottles command pretty high prices in the collector's market!

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Colin Willsher » Thu Oct 24, 2002 4:19 pm

Jenny

Just to prove that someone loves Loch Dhu, we had a call a few months ago from the boss in the UK of one of the big Japanese car makers.

The big boss from Japan was visiting the UK plant and wanted some more of the great malt whisky he had had on his previous visit, The UK boss was desperate to find out where he could buy some.

It was - of course - the Loch Dhu

Rgds

Colin
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Postby Gate » Thu Oct 24, 2002 5:18 pm

Colin: Maybe he wanted it to put in the tank!

Jenny: (1) As I understand it, Loch Dhu is Mannochmore single malt (perfectly inoffensive stuff itself, although not, IMO, one of the best) which was treated to a mysterious process not involving caramel, despite the colour, but possibly involving very heavily charred and maybe otherwise treated casks - kind of a mega-finish. The result is indeed black whisky, which presumably they thought would be regarded as quite stylish by Goth types. It really is weird stuff - you have to taste it for yourself, I think. [God, the thought of it in a blend - makes you shudder...]

(2) I agree that St Magdalene is a cracking malt (but it's just getting too expensive now because of the rarity): yet it was closed while Glenkinchie, which is not in the same league, is one of the "Classic Malts" range and gets all the marketing and backing. Not fair. Now I hear that Rosebank may never re-open. It's a sick sad world sometimes. Image
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Postby heer.veer » Thu Oct 24, 2002 9:59 pm

Sorry, couldn't help myself

Loch Dhu reminds me of a poem:

"This is how a road gets made..."

But as we all like to know about the whole spectrum of whiskies, this one is one not to be missed. But let me warn you: It isn't easy to clean the glass afterwards....
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Postby Ize » Fri Oct 25, 2002 7:32 am

I'm pretty sure that unique taste to Loch Dhu comes from massive amount of E150.

Kippis,
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Postby Iain » Fri Oct 25, 2002 8:22 am

Gate - there's no caramel in Loch Dhu?

In which case - what's that sticky black gungey deposit that gets left behind in the bottom of the glass? Molasses? Oil? Perhaps it's a liquorice cask finish !

You don't use a measure when pouring Loch Dhu, you use a dipstick :-)
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Postby Jenny » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:31 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ize:
I'm pretty sure that unique taste to Loch Dhu comes from massive amount of E150.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As far as I know (I did some Internet investigations the last two days), Loch Dhu does NOT contain any artificial color!

At least one positive thing to tell about Loch Dhu.

As far as I have understood it, the blackness is based on a non-filtering process, which means that Loch Dhu contains copper-oxid traces from the pott. + It's made directly from water of the Loch Dhu which means in english "The black lake" or "the dark lake". As a third step to produce a total black whisky, the uses coaled (double charred) casks...

Jenny


[This message has been edited by Jenny (edited 25 October 2002).]
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Postby Jenny » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:33 am

And I have found out that Loch Dhu is indeed used in a blend : "Haig" !

Jenny
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:57 am

Jenny

That explains why the guy on the discussion on the blended forum apologised for having to switch to the Haig from the Putachieside

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Gate » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:10 pm

I just checked Michael Jackson's Malt Whisky Companion, and found that he gives Loch Dhu a mark of 70, which suggests that he rates it the same as Deanston 12-year-old (also 70), and better than North Port (66-68 depending on bottling). No-one can get it right all the time, but that is just bizarre.
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Postby heer.veer » Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:47 pm

Michael probably has a good friend at Mannochmore. In the same companion he gives Cragganmore 90 points, it's good, but is it THAT good?

And really, are all the Macallan 18's within a point of each other????

[This message has been edited by heer.veer (edited 26 October 2002).]
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Postby Ize » Mon Oct 28, 2002 8:30 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jenny:
<B> As far as I know (I did some Internet investigations the last two days), Loch Dhu does NOT contain any artificial color!

At least one positive thing to tell about Loch Dhu.

As far as I have understood it, the blackness is based on a non-filtering process, which means that Loch Dhu contains copper-oxid traces from the pott. + It's made directly from water of the Loch Dhu which means in english "The black lake" or "the dark lake". As a third step to produce a total black whisky, the uses coaled (double charred) casks...

Jenny</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Weird, my friend's bottle (bought from Germany) had E150 marking on the label.

Kippis,
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Postby Iain » Mon Oct 28, 2002 10:21 am

So - it looks like it's full of E150, it says on the label it contains E150...

But someone has told Jenny it doesn't contain artificial colour.

Jenny - please name the guilty party!
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Postby Jenny » Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:05 am

Unfortunatly I hadn't bookmarked all those pages (if I remember correctly I have seen that at at least two pages)

Will have to look again... Image

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Postby Iain » Mon Oct 28, 2002 1:17 pm

This is what the Loch Fyne Whiskies site says of Loch Dhu. Actually, it says many worse things than these, but I don't know if the moderators would be happy to have them repeated here...

snip:

A varient from Mannochmore Distillery, ruthlesley treated and not worthy of the distillery. Unapetising and vile.

Owner: United Distillers started it but no one owns up to it now. Discontinued, last stocks up for grabs now.
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Mon Oct 28, 2002 1:50 pm

This is what the web site www.awa.dk has to say about Loch Dhu -
Loch Dhu is a fine malt. Patiently rested in charred sweet oak cask to create whisky as black as the night, with a rich velvety taste. Savor the smooth intense flavour.
www.happyhours.com says -
Loch Dhu Black Whisky is an extraordinary single malt scotch ...... aged in special double-charred oak casks. Charring the casks twice enhaces... the distinct black colour, and its smooth slightly sweet flavor. Look for a slightly smoky nose with clean layered aromas of sweet malts and notes of ripe fruit and honey. The whisky has a dry balanced and complex finish that is sure to please even the most jaded scotch lover

I know that one of the beauties of single malt scotches is that enjoying them - or not - is an entirely subjective thing, but these two reviews seem so out of step with what most people think of Loch Dhu that I am left wondering - could there be 2 separate whiskies using the same name?

Cheers

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Postby Iain » Mon Oct 28, 2002 3:24 pm

Rudolph asks:

could there be 2 separate whiskies using the same name?

More likely one single marketing department circulating silly booze-babble. Fortunately, you can't fool all of the people...
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Postby Gate » Mon Oct 28, 2002 3:46 pm

Well, UDV say the blackness isn't produced by caramel (to go by the Michael Jackson Companion), and I have read elsewhere, like Jenny, that it isn't caramel-induced but might be from cask treatment. So maybe what we have here is a case of carefully judged use of caramel to fine-tune the rich ebony shade of this classic dram and produce a consistent colour to add to the drinking pleasure of the cognoscenti. Or not. Image
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Postby Iain » Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:07 pm

Wise words, Gate.

By the way, what exactly do they mean, that it will "please even the most jaded scotch lover"??? What about jaded English lovers, or Germans, or Dutch... or do they have more exciting relationships????!
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:41 pm

Iain

A person born in Scotland is called <Scots> or <Scottish> . Never <Scotch> - unless you want to annoy them!

Only the whisky is called <Scotch> - even if it is Loch Dhu! Used on its own, the word Scotch usually refers to a blend. Asking for a Scotch in a UK pub will almost certainly get you a Teachers or a Bells.


Cheers

Rudolph

kg,d At
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Postby Gate » Mon Oct 28, 2002 6:46 pm

Well, the Oxford English Dictionary does define "Scotch" as "Of persons: of, belonging to, or native to, Scotland": as a Scotchman myself, that'll do me. But the concept of Loch Dhu being used by jaded Scotch lovers really is alarming: I mean, what would they use it for? Last Tango in Paisley?
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:31 am

I must say I HAVE found a way to use Loch Dhu and enjoy it: use it in cooking. Splash some Loch Dhu over frying bacon and you get a very nice bbq-like 'finish'. Riannon said she might even include the idea in her upcoming single malt cook book!

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Iain » Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:11 am

Sorry Rudolph - that'll teach me to attempt a feeble joke on-line! No offence meant to any Scots.

But I confess I do enjoy a plate of Scotch Broth followed by a side of Scotch beef washed down with a glass of Scotch ale, maybe sitting in the garden beneath a Scotch pine gazing out across a field of Scotch thistles ;-))))
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Postby heer.veer » Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:10 pm

I have a good way to enjoy Loch Dhu too!

Go to the store that still has it, keep it in my hands for 20 minutes, put it back and buy a Highland Park 18 instead! The month after that will be great and the Highland Park greatly enjoyed!
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Postby Gate » Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:38 pm

Lex:

Loch Dhu on fried bacon sounds like a cracker - I must try it with the dusty half-full bottle that sits reproachfully in my basement (how did I ever get as far as half-way down it?). Or black-cured salmon... It made me think - there are recipes for using balsamic vinegar in the same way - maybe this is the answer to the great LD mystery: it's a balsamic vinegar finish? Euww... perhaps not.
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Postby Jenny » Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:21 pm

Thanks to Alex (lexkraai), who send me a sample of Loch Dhu (enough for two drums and a little to use in the kitchen), I was able to taste Loch Dhu on my own now and here comes my review :

I had one drum already this evening (now on my second) and I would define it as a mixture of vinegar, Bowmore Voyage (I'll explain later why) and medicine.

Vinegar - Well it has definitly a vinegar taste. Something I have never tasted before. The whisky is not really harsh, it's even a little bit soft, but it still tastes like vinegar.

Bowmore Voyage - The taste lasts forever and will stay almost unbearable long on your tongue. (Like Bowmore Voyage, but that one is great!)

Medicine - Well if I remember correctly I got pectorals when I was a kid that tasted almost the same, well with less alcohol.

BTW : It's not black. It's deep red like a Bordeaux. And the smell is even more disgusting like the taste. In Sweden we have "Surströmming". It's fish that has been fermented in a can. If you open the can you actually need a gasmask, but the taste is much better. That's the same with Loch Dhu, despite that the taste isn't really good...

I would give it, taking into account that it's somewhat smooth and sweet (in comparision to peat monsters) and that it is an obscurity plus the possible usage in the kitchen, a solid 30 of 100 points. I really think that it could be worse. But not much.

Jenny

PS : This review applies only if Alex indeed send me real Loch Dhu, not vinegar or something else... Image

[This message has been edited by Jenny (edited 29 October 2002).]
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Postby Gate » Wed Oct 30, 2002 11:27 pm

Now that is what I call a whisky review! Messrs Jackson and Broom take note... Image
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Postby John Clotworthy » Sun Nov 03, 2002 4:20 pm

Mannochmore claimed there was no additives to give it the colouring and it was down to extra charring. Story has it here in the Highlands that additives were found and it had to be withdrawn. I still have a few bottles and if the mood seems right it is ok but with an aquired taste.
Slainthe John.
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