Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Mancarella (Ma)
Bottling serie
Limited Edition
Stated Age
36 years old
Refill Sherry Hogshead
Number of bottles
47.3 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
28 Jan 2020 10:32 pm by Schmausel
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 299.45

27 × in wishlist

95 × member ratings

161 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Highland Single Malt 1983 Ma

29 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 90.26 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [February, 2020] Another undisclosed malt from the year when the whisky industry collapsed and tumbled from a boom phase into deep recession within weeks. The cause was a new health movement that quickly spread from California across the whole USA so whisky sales in the biggest market halved almost overnight. As a result dozens of Scottish distilleries had to close and the quality of the surviving spirits went south due to budget cuts and post-poned investments. So was this dram distilled before or after these decisions...

    ...and it is very fine, actually. No signs of a crisis in there but a complex and flawless old-style profile which is very interesting to explore and delicious to quaff. Sometimes it reminds me of old bourbon-cask matured Glenfarclas but if it is from the Highland region my best guess is Ben Nevis. But Ben Nevis usually allows IBs to use its name...so given the profile it could be a Tomatin too.
    • Nose
      91 91
      The colour is pale gold and the nose offers a lush old-style profile with adorable fruits, honeys, waxes and autumn floral impressions. All nicely balanced without any off-note, the wood is rather shy for a 36 years maturation but provides enough backing to the delicate spirit-driven aromas. After some breathing the fruits retreat somewhat and more old-style impressions pop up. Among them earthy notes (forest floor), dunnage warehouse, olive oil and more waxes. I like this complex and interesting profile which reminds me a little of old Glenfarclas Family Casks from the same period (early eighties) and age (35+years). By the way, there is a huge difference between the nose out of a standard Glencairn glass and the big spherical blender‘s glass I use (in favour of the latter).
    • Taste
      91 91
      The taste is nicely layered on sweet fruits, honeys and molten sugars in a tasty bitter-sour sauce made up of waxes, tobacco leaves and vegetable oils. Again, this is pretty old-stylish and guess what - I like it! After some chewing delicious spices and some shy herbs join in while the wood does a great job to provide structure without dominating. Water releases chalky-mineral aromas in the nose and more fruits on the palate, actually I like this dram both neat and somewhat reduced.
    • Finish
      90 90
      The dram arrives very charming on the palate with a warming and creamy texture without distracting bitter or astringent moments. No signs of over-aging at all, this was a perfect cask for such a long maturation (most probably a second or third refill). The finish is long and adds more waxy-oily and sugary notes that are delicious. Again no bitter or drying moments but a fine chewable texture, just a minor cardboardy note towards the very end which is not distracting. A great pick by Dino!

  2. didi1893 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    A mysterious Highland Single Malt in a glass, no idea which distillery is behind it ... Visually, olfactively and in terms of taste, the Highlander is a lot of fun and convinces in all points! Dirty, a little "old school" with a dominant herbal and spice note, also fruity and extremely complex. A very successful bottling, I like it very much!

    23/23/22/23 (91P)
    • Nose
      Delicate amber rests in the glass while thick and syrupy "legs" stick to the glass wall of my Premium Snifter. Sweet apples and pears with floral notes from the glass, meadow herbs and subtle hazelnut aroma combine to create a wonderfully harmonious nose. Minimally earthy nuances are released from slightly dry wood tones, which are then whitewashed with forest honey and brown sugar. Minimally there is old mint in the background, herbs and grassy, floral notes emerge again. After a while I discover creamy vineyard peach and juicy apricots, nutty grated milk chocolate comes into its own.
    • Taste
      The first sip flows fruity with a special herbal note on the tongue. Slightly dry and spicy wooden elements combine with dried spices and herbs to create a wonderful, but also idiosyncratic blend of spices. The second sip has a noticeably sweet and fruity, caramelized sugar and dried grapes and berries end with a minimal sharpness on the tongue. A few black peppercorns rest on the tongue in the saliva, slightly smoky tobacco slowly rises. Old raisins mix with ground nuts, hints of fresh mint and essential oils run through the throat with cozy warmth, honey and hard toffee stick to the palate.
    • Finish
      Subtly tickling on the tongue and on the palate, the mouth feel dry and fresh, herbs and spices still stick to the cheeks. The mouthfeel becomes creamier and "dirty", minimally earthy and smoky spicy wood elements swim in the saliva under the tongue. The aftertaste is just beginning to the lap of honor ...

  3. Kalleholzbein scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      91 91

  4. rampah scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Retail price in 02-2020: ~300€

    According to my source, the first version of its label was "northern highland malt" and the content is from one of those three Distillerys: Clynelish, Glenglassaugh or Tomatin.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      95 95

  5. Dram Dracula scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    This is either a Clynelish or a Tomatin. From a very good source. My guess is it's a Clynelish. This makes it one of the best quality to price ratio I've seen recently. A fruit for thought -- a recent TWE bottling released at Old and Rare from a month ago of a Clynelish 1983 36yo cost 999 GBP. I passed on that. Unless that bottling was so much better, I think it was a good call. This Mancarella bottling, also a 1983 36y Highland, cost 299 euro. From my own bottle.

    Let's go to the tasting.
    • Nose
      92 92
      Perfect nose. Butterscotch, roasted peanuts, fresh apricots and stewed peaches, and some mint/eucalyptus. A pleasant fruitiness, with a tinge of mild tea with honey. A bit of dustiness, perhaps some oak spice. Very cohesive nose, good balance. Nothing out of place.
    • Taste
      93 93
      Very good mouthfeel, layered and creamy. Quite delicious. On this second occasion, I do detect a good amount of waxiness. I thought this was Tomatin initially but now feels like this can very well be Clynelish. Wax, ginger, vanilla, honey. Definitely one of those opened bottles I will gladly reach for again and again.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Noticeable oak at the end of palate and into the finish. But this is delicious.

  6. waal scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Nose: apple, heather, sweet, wax, mild, yet full of character, slightly acidic, sherry flavors, "sexy", for the more advanced, nuts, coast, nougat, salt, harsh, very interesting (!)

    Mouth: powerful, mineral, creamy, peppery, snappy, herbaceous, medicinal, spices, stones, earth, honest, direct, no "daily dram", not smoothly ironed, the sherry is rather rough, wet soil

    Conclusion: The malt has a first-class nose. The taste has interesting corners and edges. Great! Not for everyone and for every occasion, but I think the Highlander is very, very good!

    89 points

  7. tangtang scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    I like beautiful malts very much. Great flavors, very layered and complex.
    • Nose
      spicy oak notes accompanied by dried fruits, furniture polish, the alcohol has a slight presence, citrus fruits, some dark chocolate, plums, milk chocolate comes later paired with honey
    • Taste
      Creamy start, dark fruits, dried fruits, spicy wood notes, some furniture polish, then becoming slightly sweet with some chocolate and honey, in the background some mint and citrus fruits
    • Finish
      Spicy finish with great sherry aromas, a lot of oak is also present. Slightly sweet, later slightly bitter.

  8. aspa scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Soft, round, fruity, sweet. Oak, vanilla. Citrus fruits and sweet and sour apples. Some honey, some beeswax. Light spice from the oak but only subtle. Multilayered, complex, captivating. In between, a light oiliness flashes, and something mineral. Oranges, mango, and maybe a touch of maple syrup again? Is there something slightly dirty, earthy, old wood? A great nose to explore and enjoy. The alcohol is perfectly integrated, nothing stings, nothing burns. After a while in the jar, light overripe tropical fruits come out, and I always love that!

    The sample that I had in spring really blew me away, it was perfect. I am mentally preparing myself for a slight disappointment, when I recently tried the malt away from home, the taste was great, but not as amazing as my sample. for whatever reason.
    And the result today proves me right. The dram is great, but not quite as great as the sample. Creamy, round and balanced, the alcohol is still perfectly integrated and shows the age - but without being too thin, there is still a lot of power in the paint. But it only needs minimal water. Oily, malty, salty, a bit maritime and still with citrus fruits and apples. A little mint, honey, very slightly mineral. That's the big difference to the sample, which was extremely mineral and waxy for me, while the dram today only shows traces of it. Brown sugar and slightly tart oak with a little vanilla, nice interplay between tart and sweet. The tropical fruits also continue to show up. Dried herbs and a hint of smoke lie in the background.

    It continues as in the taste with minimal pepper. The finish is medium long and remains dry, tart and slightly bitter. Again a hint of smoke, slightly waxy, some honey and oak.

    A great to very great paints, but I am a little sorry for the brilliant sample. I wonder what has changed. The nose is top notch, the taste and finish are very good. At the sample I would have sworn on the distillery, now I'm not entirely convinced, but that doesn't matter. If I forget the sample, it's a top draw!
    N-93, T-91, F-91 for very good 92 points
    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      91 91

  9. DocF scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Color: amber

    Given my enthusiasm for the appearance of this bottling, sobering short notes, all thin, restrained, plus the dry wood notes, I was not very enthusiastic at the first tasting. 2 weeks in the 2/3 empty sample bottle gave the nose a boost, first tasting rather 86 points, later depending on the day maybe 89-90. With all complaints, this whisky has rare to unique vegetable oil notes that I could not put into flavors until the end of the sample. 320 € is a lot of money, but you won't get an 83 Clynelish cheaper, if it is one -> sample is recommended.
    • Nose
      Rapeseed honey, intense sunflower oil and tree sap, furniture polish, propolis, more beeswax, unripe apples. Dry wood. With water: more propolis, more sunflower oil. Freshly weeded, wet soil. Ripe pears. Everything is quite hidden, a bit edgy, even weak with the help of the Blender's Glass.
    • Taste
      With water: resin, some soot, dry tree bark, wet wood. Sunflower oil. Crab apples, Riesling, some dry wood.
    • Finish
      Long, resinous. Some furniture polish, later dry wood. Black coffee. Dill pickles.

  10. daverdaz scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Definitely better than the other independent Clynelish's that have come onto the market lately. This bottling definitely needs oxygen to develop. As soon as it is opened, the whisky looks out of round and salty. After the bottle has been open for 3-4 weeks, the whisky opens wonderfully. Round, sweet, bright tropical fruits and beautiful oak notes emerge. Anyone who gives this whisky time and air will be rewarded with a beautiful Highland malt :-) whether it is a Clynelish?!?!?! I don't know, it doesn't matter as long as it tastes good!


Add tasting tags by clicking the flavours you recognized in this whisky.


Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  

Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 52072819
VAT: NL850288836B01

Copyright © 2021

Forgot your password?