Mortlach 1990/2011 Signatory Vintage
Diageo has sort of shot itself in the foot with the new Mortlach range, I think. Way too expensive, and from what I hear, terrible value for money. I can only judge the Rare Old (which of course is neither), which I’ve tasted and is worth nowhere near what they are asking for. Looks like premium prices for a premium brand, but no premium quality.
So many Mortlach enthusiasts are now focusing even more on the independent bottlers to get their fix. There’s still plenty of single cask Mortlach being released. Today’s review is of one that was released a while back, by Andrew Symington’s Signatory Vintage. It has matured in a refill sherry butt.
Mortlach 1990/2011 (57,6%, Signatory Vintage, C#6070)
Nose: Dusty wood shavings, linseed oil and white pepper. Some hay and a little bit of orange and peach.
Taste: Pretty intense. Chili peppers, leather. Very spicy, with only a touch of honey and grapefruit.
Finish: Some light coffee. Dry, earthy and peppery.
I would have had trouble tying this to a sherry maturation. It has some typical intense ex-bourbon Mortlach flavours, I feel. Not bad at all, but a bit unpolished to truly shine.
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.