Mortlach 12 Years Old & 14 Years Old (2019)
So I wrote about visiting Mortlach Distillery on Monday. It only seems logical to follow that up with reviews of the entire Mortlach core range. Since there’s four of them, I decided to split the tasting notes up in pairs. First up: Mortlach 12 ‘Wee Witchie’ Years Old and the Mortlach ‘Alexander’s Way’ 14 Years Old. The latter of which is a Travel Retail Exclusive, although you can find it in several shops on the continent.
While the 12yo matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks of both American and European oak, I’m not quite sure of the 14yo received the same treatment.
Mortlach 12 Years Old (43.4%, OB, 2019)
Nose: Notes of chalk and sour cherries, with a hint of pencil shavings and saw dust. A whiff of raisins and sultanas, as well as a touch of honey, cinnamon, and some pronounced orange peel.
Taste: A whiff of ginger, followed by caramel and orange marmalade. Finally a touch of burnt toast, cigar tobacco and pencil shavings.
Finish: A tad dry, spicy and with a pinch of oak.
Mortlach 14 Years Old (43.4%, OB, 2019)
Nose: A quick hit of Cointreau, followed by some soft notes of fresh oak and white pepper. Finally stewed pears, cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as a touch of cumin and polished leather.
Taste: The spicy trend continues. Cinnamon and nutmeg make an encore, and are joined by cloves. A touch of barley sugar and menthol, and slightly dry.
Finish: Fresh ginger, oak, and a whiff of citrus.
Both are good whiskies, although also rather oak forward, especially the Mortlach 14 Years Old. That’s why I prefer the Mortlach 12 Years Old in this head-to-head, which certainly is what it needs to be: a good introduction to the new range. It did not disappoint.
I have a few samples of the Mortlach 16 Years Old and 20 Years Old as well. Watch this space for a review of those sometime in the next few days.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.