Mortlach 14 Years Old 100 Proof (Sestante)
Did I lie to you when I mentioned a few days ago that I had something special in store? Mortlach is special enough in its own right. Mortlach from the 1970s (maybe 1960s?) is even more noteworthy. One that is bottled by legendary Italian bottler Sestante (at cask strength of course) is simply beyond remarkable. These are the types of whiskies that are—for most of us anyways—true unicorns.
Mortlach 14 Years Old 100 Proof (57%, Sestante, 1980s)
Nose: At 57 percent, this wonderfully approachable with hints of polished leather, tobacco leaves and succulent berries. Lots of dunnage quality too, actually. Old wood, bung cloth, damp earth. Then there’s a touch of menthol and even a tiny bit of peat, as well as cured meats and a whiff of soy. Super complex and really well balanced.
Taste: Such an unmistakable old-school quality. Great sweet arrival, with brown sugar, leather, eucalyptus, ripe plums, and fudge. There’s soft tannins and oak also, with a hint of nutmeg and soft pepper too. A slightly sour quality, that does not qualify as an off-note though.
Finish: Most of the above. Lingering for a long time.
I don’t like to say this, but I have to in this case: they just don’t make ’em like this anymore. I don’t know what it is, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about whiskies like this Mortlach that really strike the right chord.
Surprisingly, this tastes much more like some of the old Speysiders that Gordon & MacPhail bottles these days. Mature beyond its years is certainly an apt description. Rob, thanks again for sharing this wonderful whisky.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange
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.