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

February 4, 2016


The Mortlach week, Thursday

This is well Thursday, isn’t it?

Mortlach 1998/2012 (56.8%, Berry Bros & Rudd, cask #3798)

Mortlach 1998/2012 (56.8%, Berry Bros & Rudd, cask #3798) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: there, Mortlach’s waxy, sooty, mineral and grassy side, with even these medicinal notes that we had found in one or two others. Iodine, benzoin, grapefruits, plasticine… This one’s very ‘Mortlach’. With water: sawdust and varnish. The oak wasn’t lazy. Mouth (neat): perfect, spicy and almost smoky, with a thick mouth feel and plenty of tropical fruits. The vanilla may have gotten a little too loud (and so did the coconutty lactones), but on the other hand, this baby’s extremely satisfying. Top notch stuff. With water: very very good. Water did not make it over-US-oaky this time, even if there might be a little too much sugariness for my taste. Nitpicking now. Finish: medium, on tangerine jam and almond oil. Comments: this baby may have seen some rejuvenated US oak at some point. And that worked. SGP:551 - 87 points.

It would be nice to find a totally naked young Mortlach… Oh, maybe this one…

Mortlach 8 yo 1987/1995 (61.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, USA)

Mortlach 8 yo 1987/1995 (61.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, USA) Four stars From an oak cask, naturally. Good to know. It’s absolutely fab that Cadenhead would have bottled just ‘anything’ at that time, such as hyper-young immature malt whiskies. What a library of authentic Scottish distillates! We’ll soon have one of those 8 yo Saint Magdalenes, I can’t wait. Right, digressing again…  Colour: white wine. Nose: strong. Me feel lemon drops and wood varnish. With water: rocks, clay, chalk, graphite oil, grass… Mouth (neat): extraordinary spirit. Citrus everywhere, and a sharpness that reminds me of Otto Herschmann, an Austrian sabreur, who won silver medal in sabre team competition in 1912’s Olympics (S., this is so despicable…) With water: I would swear I’m feeling Wee Witchie’s work. It’s not easy, there’s an herbal fatness that’s a little difficult, but the mineral grapefruits are rather extraordinary. If that exists. Finish: long, ultra-sharp, and mega-oily. It’s almost got the texture of oil. Comments: very intellectual. Meaning you do not quite get everything, but you know it’s authentic. As for the score, let’s be serious… Oh and I find it funny that someone in Aberdeen (wasn’t it Campbeltown already?) had decided that this was a cask for good old America. SGP:462 - 86 points.

Mortlach 23 yo 1988/2012 (56.6%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, refill sherry butt, cask #4741, 562 bottles)

Mortlach 23 yo 1988/2012 (56.6%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, refill sherry butt, cask #4741, 562 bottles) Three stars Colour: bronze, which is bizarre. Nose: good, that’s the problem with our feeble minds, I cannot not think of Black Adder, hence of Baldrick, and I just cannot help finding notes of cooked turnip in this. I really do. Even celeriac, salsify, and beetroots, imagine. How bad is that, meelord? Seriously, this is very wacky, there’s even truffles and cabbage. No I won’t use the S word. With water: gunpowder and struck matches. Need I say more? Mouth (neat): awww, this is superb. Lemon liqueur, ginger, creamy honey, mandarin jam, Banyuls, rancio, amaretto, tobacco, Grisons meat, or beef jerky… This was some cask! And some spirit! With water: amazing. Bitter oranges, smoky tea, tobacco, marmalade… Finish: long, leafier and grassier. Comments: I knew this would happen, eventually. Hated the sulphury nose, absolutely adored the meaty/mineral palate. Now, go score this… SGP:472 – 82.5 points (no we don’t do halves, and never will, but that’s just an average, 75 for the nose, 90 for the palate. I know, a very stupid way of scoring whisky, but for once…)

That one was a bit tiring, I have to say.  Better stop right now and do a last big fat Mortlach session tomorrow. If you don’t mind… 

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


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback






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