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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 25, 2014


Mortlach DL Adelphi

Two Monstrous Mortlach

In my experience Mortlach + sherry can make for a magnificent combination, but sometimes the spirit’s trademark sulphury tones can add-up to a sherry cask’s sulphur, and generate a rather… bombastic experience. Let’s check two of them…

Mortlach 21 yo 1992/2013 (56.7%, Douglas Laing, Director's Cut, sherry butt, cask #10143, 255 bottles) Three stars and a half Colour: dark amber. Nose: it is, indeed, a big fat dry sherry, with plenty of roasted chestnuts, dark chocolate, torrefaction and menthol, but with very little, if any, notes of gunpowder. Then thuja wood, wood polish, hot sawdust (fruit tree) and a hint of wood smoke. Very heavy but the dryness works well. With water: more rubber comes out. New rubber boots and a drop of lapsang souchong. Mouth (neat): ultra-heavy, a little acrid, highly concentrated. Did they cook it? Bags and bags of oak spices and bitter chocolate plus a touch of leather and a big… Christmas cake. Dried figs. It’s only after two minutes that notes of oranges and lemons manage to come through, and ‘lift it’. The bitter spices remain there. With water: this time water works well, bringing out more lemon and maybe quinces. Finish: long, with all the oak’s spices in the front. Mint lozenges in the aftertaste. Comments: heavy and bestial. No breakfast dram. SGP:462 - 83 points.

Mortlach 26 yo 1987/2014 (56.8%, Adelphi, refill sherry, cask #3103, 200 bottles)Four starsColour: rich gold. Nose: almost sylphlike after the DL, and yet it’s no light dram at all. There’s more marmalade, Seville oranges, a touch of coal smoke, this very particular sulphury/inky side, linseed oil… What’s really nice is this tropical side that are sometimes to be found in old Mortlach, between pink grapefruits and guavas. Even mangos, actually, but it hasn’t got the high topicality (?) of other distilleries. With water: a little rubber coming out yet again. Mortlach + water = sometimes strangeness. Mouth (neat): once again, I should have tried this baby first. Because once again, it’s very powerful whisky, but it feels almost light after the very heavy DL. Grapefruits again, curry powder, ginger, nutmeg… A little sour wood. With water: a feeling of peat, bitter oranges, leather, ginger and more nutmeg. And mint. Finish: long, grassier, oakier. Comments: very fine for sure, but I think I enjoyed sister cask #3101 by Adelphi much better (WF 91), I thought everything was better integrated. SGP:462 - 85 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Mortlach I've tasted so far







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