Mortlach 10yo, 2008-2018, Old Particular
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Douglas Laing
Cask type: Refill Wine Cask (# DL12757, 297 btl.)
Colour: Slightly reddish amber.
Nose: Sweet and fruity on the nose with red currants, creamy vanilla and barley sugar. Clearly spicy hints of oak, followed by honey and a touch of strawberry.
Palate: Equally sweet and fruity on the palate, immediately followed by warming spices - white pepper and oak. Then creamy sweetness of honey, vanilla and malt with a crunchy cereal note towards the finish.
Finish: The finish shows a medium length with fleshy notes, toasted bread, honey, brown sugar and finally some dry oak.
With water: After the addition of a few drops of water a little fresher on the nose with enhanced wine aromas and red berries. Spicy oak with lots of toffee in the background. On the palate noticeably less sweet with a distinct peppery spiciness and prickling oak. Honey with creamy toffee towards the finish. The finish is medium long with notes of honey, toffee and a bit more of dry oak.
Comments: An impressive independent bottling of Mortlach in a refill wine cask that seems to have tamed the beast of Dufftown. Creamy notes of honey and toffee together with aromas of red berries counteract the fleshy and spicy character of Mortlach and keep this single malt in beautiful balance. A successful Mortlach in perfect drinking strength.
I thank Douglas Laing for the photograph!
Mortlach 17yo, 1997-2015, The Un-Chillfiltered Collection
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Signatory Vintage
Cask type: Hogsheads (#7174+7175, 627 btl.)
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Complex orchard and tropical fruit on the nose with mango, melon, passion fruit, pear drops, pineapple, peach and apricot. Waves of vanilla emerge, lovely mixed with blossom honey and a whiff of lemon and oak in the back. Evocative and utterly gorgeous!
Palate: Deliciously sweet and very fruity on the palate. The tropical fruit of mainly ripe pears, mango and pineapple battle through layers of warming spiciness of oak, white pepper and caramelised ginger. Creamy notes of vanilla deliciously linger with lemon and hazelnut towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long and sweet with malted barley. Slightly citric and minerality. Spiced oak and the echo of the tropical fruit linger along with subtle notes of damped wood on the tail.
With water: Stays sweet and fruity on the nose with a few drops of water while slightly more notes of vanilla emerge. Fresh and fruity on the palate with a tamed sweetness and spiciness on the tongue. The finish is significantly shorter with creamy sweetness of barley sugar and honey. Tender mineral with a whiff of freshly sawn oak on the tail.
Comments: Boy, this is so delicate. It's like sitting in a tropical fruit garden. Rich, multi-layered with a complex character. A beautiful, mature Speyside malt where the oak perfectly balances the massive load of sweet fruitiness. Whisky like this makes tasting an absolute pleasure. On top of that, an absolute bargain!
I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph (displays a slightly older bottling)!
Mortlach 21yo, 1994-2015, Mission Gold, Murray McDavid
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Murray McDavid
Cask type: First Fill Bourbon Barrel (#2)
Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: Broad aromas of delicious fruit with tangerine, orange, ripe gooseberry and yellow plum. Soft and creamy with lingering toffee, burnt caramel and a whiff of coconut. With time, gentle smoke emerges with lingering oak spice and subtle charred wood in the back. A gorgeous nose!
Palate: Quite oily with only a touch of sweetness and fruity flavours. Gets rapidly dry with burnt cereals, oak and warm spices, mainly cracked black pepper and candied ginger. A second sip adds up the spiciness.
Finish: A medium long and dry finish with warm oak spice and a slightly astringent note. Sticky blossom honey emerges on the palate with lingering plum coming through leading to a sweet and fruity aftertaste. An amazing change!
With water: A bit of freshness on the nose, with slightly more fruitiness and a bit of tamed oak spice. The palate, however, feels as dry as a bone. Water tames the fruitiness to an absolut minimum leaving a peppery and oaky spirit. Very astringent! The finish is medium long and warm with the return of subtle plum.
Comments: A very interesting dram indeed. However, I was a little bit disappointed. The nose promises something nice, sweet and fruity but the palate doesn't deliver. A drier expression of Mortlach, the palate is more in one piece. But the return of the fruit on the finish is a beautiful one. No water please as it kills the residual fruitiness on the palate!
I thank the German importer Whiskymax for sample and photograph!