Mortlach 2003/2014 Van Wees
It’s almost like Mortlach is two distilleries packaged into one building. What I mean to say is that their ex-bourbon and ex-sherry whiskies differ a lot. If you tasted and liked the Mortlach 16 Flora & Fauna (plenty of sherry influence), don’t automatically assume you also like this ex-bourbon matured Mortlach from Wemyss. Similar in age, but a very different whisky.
Today’s Mortlach is a younger one, distilled early in this millennium and bottled last year by Dutch independent bottler Van Wees. Their Ultimate-series often offers excellent value-for-money. Let’s see if that is also the case for this 11yo Mortlach from a bourbon barrel.
Mortlach 2003/2014 (46%, Van Wees, C#800211)
Nose: Light fruit with apples, banana and lemon. Zesty. A hint of smoke and fairly malty. Some grassy element, hay and heather.
Taste: Light peat smoke, slightly dry and peppery. Pretty spicy and dirty, quite an attack on the taste buds, even at 46 percent abv. A hint of toffee and coconut.
Finish: Smoke and cigarette ash. Toasted barley. Slightly bitter, but in the end some fruit re-appears.
This is a bit of a schizo-dram. The nose is very fine and shows some nice complexity. I don’t care much for the palate. Too spicy and harsh.
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.