What would you do to tame the Beast of Dufftown? Drowning it in a variety of different casks might just work. Master blender Craig Wilson has used a resourceful number of cask types to finish the new Mortlach Midnight Malt.
The press release for the Mortlach Midnight Malt is very succinct, and instead accompanied by an audio recording of whisky writer Felipe Schrieberg describing his experience with the new release.
“This is an older release”, Schrieberg states. “It’s best tasted in the later hours of the night to enhance the mystery and romance of the whisky itself. […] This isn’t just a superb older whisky. It amplifies the elements that make this distillery unique and why it’s known as the Beast of Dufftown.”
Why is it called the Mortlach Midnight Malt? Well, as the release’s fact sheet notes, Mortlach Midnight Malt captures the feeling of the moment “when day transcends to night, [and the] light changes and shadows emerge.” I wonder how such a feeling tastes…
Apparently, the essence of that feeling, or taste, lies in the casks that were used. They add “unexpected layers of richness and intensity.” The original spirit matured in refill American oak and European oak casks, which was then split to finish in Bordeaux wine, Calvados and Guatemalan rum seasoned casks. The Mortlach Midnight Malt was finally married in custom quarter casks.
That’s a lot to process and a daring balancing act by master blender Craig Wilson, who says: “There is an art and science to the creation of whisky, born of an unabating quest to wield flavour – a journey that is complex, evolving into unknown directions, only to finally reveal itself as the patient labour of a visionary at work.”
The Mortlach Midnight Malt is bottled at 49.1% percent. Only 350 bottles will be made available at £3,700 each.
Mortlach Midnight Malt Official Tasting Notes
Nose: A mellow nose with some initial prickle. This settles in time to reveal a savoury and faintly herbal top note, suggesting pork crackling sprinkled with dry sage. Taste: A richly winey, apple fruity and mouth-watering start delights the palate, backed by a long spicy intensity with a delicious black pepper note that really persists. Finish: Long, sweet and deep-flavoured, with a light peppery spiciness. With water, still sweet and softer, with the spicy heat joined by a suggestion of mint chocolate in the lingering aftertaste.