Google Special Releases Special, today Mortlach

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

September 3, 2020


Special Releases Special, today Mortlach

I’ve already had a wee sip and thought it was unusually crisp and clean – which is right up my alley. But let’s first find a proper sparring partner, this time there’s a plenty of choice. Mind you, Mortlach is not Pittyvaich. Although, in some ways…

Mortlach 22 yo ‘Marriage’ (54.2%, The Single Malts of Scotland, 1200 bottles, 2018)

Mortlach 22 yo ‘Marriage’ (54.2%, The Single Malts of Scotland, 1200 bottles, 2018) Three stars
Four hogsheads and a sherry butt, married for better or for worse by the priests and priestesses of whisky over there in London. Colour: deep gold. Nose: huge sulphur. I mean, old guns, used matches, town gas and black truffles. These are not smells that are unseen in Mortlach (the early Flora & Fauna spring to mind) but this one’s going quite far, becoming almost smoky (pine cone smoke). Burning meat fat, mad man’s barbecue, exhaust... Water may make it gentler – or not, let’s see. With water: no. On Paris’s ring road at peak hour. Or there, a Tesla about to explode, right, burning plastics and other chemicals. Mouth (neat): well in the style of the Flora & Fauna, and we know it’s got its aficionados, but the feeling of sucking a pistol is a bit unusual. A lot of leather too. With water: ah, there, civilisation. Oranges, wax, tangerine liqueur… We tamed it but that’s a little late. Finish: long, dry, meatier. Moe Mortlach as in most Mortlachs. Comments: it’s true that it reminded me of some marriages. Explosive indeed. For lovers of this genre only, I would say.
SGP:372 - 80 points.

Landslide now, I wager…

Mortlach 21 yo 1999/2020 (56.9%, OB, Special Releases 2020, finished in PX and oloroso seasoned casks)

Mortlach 21 yo 1999/2020 (56.9%, OB, Special Releases 2020, finished in PX and oloroso seasoned casks) Four stars
Right, sadly only a finishing but remember we found out that they’ve been tuning them down in recent years and that some have become purely anecdotal. According to the colour, that would be the case here… Colour: pale gold. Nose: sulphur gone, even meatiness gone, hello crispness and fruits. You do feel a few oils (graphite) and this feeling of ‘a fat Islay without any smoke’ but what’s really leading the pack is this bright combination of white and yellow fruits with chalk and paraffin. The tenser side of Mortlach, probably the one we like best. Oloroso and PX are M.I.A. and we shall not complain at all. With water: citrus and waxes all over the place. Mouth (neat): huge, fantastic, pure, rich, fat, crisp, resinous, melony, waxy, mineral, a tad rubbery. Haut-Brion blanc? No, Mortlach! With water: spicy herbs coming out, as well as a little leather, caraway, cinnamon mints, chilli, pepper, tabasco… It’s as if the casks had suddenly woken up. Having said that, citrus and wax keep running the show. Finish: long and spicy. A tad less interesting I would say, oak spices could come out just any ‘active’ aged spirit. Comments: utterly loved it as long as we hadn’t unleashed the oak spices towards the end. Blame it on our water. Or, hey, on the Pedro!
SGP:561 - 87 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Mortlach we've tasted so far







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