The Beast of Dufftown. An awe inspiring nickname. But Mortlach has lost some of its shine (to whisky connaiseurs at least) when it released their luxury line of official bottlings a couple of years ago. It wasn’t received well. But luckily we have the independent bottlers, so we can still taste some of that quality Mortlach at semi-affordable prices.
Todays Mortlach is part of the recent batch of single cask releases from The Whisky Exchange, all of them from the vast stocks of Signatory Vintage. Distilled in 1998, it has matured most of its time in a ex-bourbon hogshead, but has spent the last 54 months of its maturation in a sherry butt.
Mortlach 1998/2016 (55,8%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, C#5)
Nose: It’s not often I’ve come across such distinct notes of eucalyptus. And pine needles as well. It’s pretty earthy with a lovely dunnage warehouse quality. Don’t worry, there’s lots of sherry influence as well. Some nice furniture polish with lots of fruitiness. Blackcurrants, cherries. Taste: Quite the attack on the taste buds, but in a good way. Lots of pepper, cinnamon, cloves and black tea. Also cherry syrup and dried figs. A tad dry. Finish: A bit drying, some nice meatiness. Ends on red fruit notes. Long!
Mortlach honors its nickname here, as this is a beast of a whisky. Not very subtle, but very delicious indeed. Available for 120 pounds.