A hidden gem. Really nice mixture of:
1) fresh, apéritif-style aromas (lemon sherbet, orchard fruits, a sprinkling of white pepper and tannic oak to keep things dry);
2) a mineral flintiness that you get from mineral-rich spring waters or certain dry white wines, especially Rieslings, with notes of gravel, limestone, and chalk;
3) a shy, but perceptible waft of smoke (less ppm that, say Springbank or Talisker; instead, roughly in the neighborhood of the peatier Dalwhinnies and the new Kilkerrans).
And that's the nose alone. On the - initially rather sweet - palate, tropical fruits (especially melons, but also guavas) join the parade, while the smoke gains in strength with each passing second without ever becoming truly prominent. The mineral aspect remains, comfortably co-existing with a fruity juiciness. I find this really artful and nifty. Not a lot of oak throughout, except for some tingling tannins at the death (there was more oak on the nose), but you still get the sense that this was bottled not a moment too early or too late. Twelve years really seems about right here. If I had this blind, I would probably estimate around 15 years of age.
Okay, so the finish may be decent but not exactly spectacular. But everything that comes before that is really a pleasant surprise, and I would happily pay 40-45 € for a bottle. This is a light, summer-style apéritif whisky with a mineralic, coal-smoky twist, and that makes it really special in my opinion. Gotta check out more Mannochmore(s), I guess!