Dram Review: Cu Dhub

I got a bottle of this whisky for Christmas this year. It’s 12 year old single malt whisky distilled at Mannachmore distillery (in the forest of Gaick according to the promotional literature).

This stuff deserves a chance. They add lots of spirit caramel to the whisky in order to make it black and give themselves a unique selling point, but what’s more they tell their customers the truth about the fact that they’ve added caramel on the bottle.

You can read their website here but the most interesting quote is

Black caramel adds bitter notes to the whisky and adds hints of mocha and liquorice.

This seems contrary to what most whisky industry people will tell you about the effect of spirit caramel. An interesting conflict there I suppose.

Here are the dramstats:


  • ABV 40%
  • Age 12 years
  • Price £23

Nose: Rich rum raisin, prunes, touch of cough syrup, black grape skins and sultanas

Palate: Raisins and dried fruit with a touch of dandilion and burdock.

Finish: There is a surprising burst of dried fruit and then it dries and becomes bitter, acrid and unpleasant (for me at least).

Verdict: Lovely dried fruit on the nose and a nice initial delivery, but I find myself, every time I have a glass, dreading the finish. I’m not a fan and though the price is fine, you can get some pretty nice blends for £23. However, it is an interesting dram. Definitely something to try to see what caramel can do. The Scotch industry insist its flavourless, but this Danish Whisky company says different and they sell a single malt scotch Whisky on that basis. The beauty of the open market!


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