A Quartet of Mortlach Drams
Mortlach is one of those distilleries that brings huge smiles to the faces of almost all whisky fans, the "beast of Dufftown" is known for it's meaty powerful huge flavours.
Below is a selection of four independently bottled Mortlachs from across the years showing the versatility of Morltach and the range of flavours within just a single distillery.
The old Morlatch 16 Flora and Fauna may be gone, but there are definitely a range of whiskies out there for people to buy with just as much, if not more flavour in them.
Mortlach 17yr 1997 PX Finish (Chieftans)
There are many independent bottlings of Mortlach, and this one from Ian MacLeods Chieftains Choice range is a delicious 17 year old finished in Pedro Ximinez casks.
PX usually adds a layer of sweetness but Mortlach is already quite a sweet dram so i was a bit concerned this might go too far but it was just filled with juicy treacle along with some lovely savoury notes and those spiced onions you get in the local Indian Restaurant, which i absolutely love.
Hugely flavourful but unlikely to be available anywhere i could find other than as a sold out at The Whisky Barrel
Amazing notes of treacle and Cuba libre, treacle scones, aromatic leaf bitters, dry powdered Edinburgh rock, waxed jackets, beetroot chutney, spiced onions, burnt bbq ends
Strong treacle and prunes, more of those aromatic leaf butters, some oak leaf sauce, crushed lemongrass, tangy spiced onions
Fresh, treacle, spiced onions, tasty
Mortlach 1971-1996 (Gordon and MacPhail)
This was handed to me by a lovely customer at work, and is from a bottle distilled in 1971 and bottled in 1996.
Typical Gordon and Macphail old Mortlach notes in this, which to be fair is the only old Mortlach i've had and remember, but that lovely beeswax furniture note and lots of fruits and fruit cake, a hugely interesting dram.
If you can find this, or similar out there, likely at auctions, then grab it these are hugely tasty drams.
The only place i can see this online is at Whiskybase
That’s the typical gordon and MacPhail Old mortlach style, beeswax polished mahogany, dusty warehouses, rum soaked raisins, fruit cask with spices, some bbq pulled pork and sticky ribs also.
Waxed orange peel, beeswax polish again but on a metallic surface, almost a hint of brasso, sweet tangtastic haribos, hints of Christmas cake spice and that fruit cake jumps in too, with oodles of Demerara sugar, hints of chocolate sauce.
Sweet spicy, sticky bbq sauce
Mortlach 6yr 2006 Vintage Collection (Morrison and Mackay)
This sample came from my good friend Barry at The Whiskyphiles, and is from a 200ml bottle fromt he Carn Mor Vintage collection, a young 6 year old Mortlach distilled in 2006.
Young does not mean bad and this is certainly not bad, its got a huge amount of waxy lemons and preserved lemons which is a note i really like, full of flavour and great value for money, keep an eye out for these brilliant 200ml bottles.
Available online from Robert Graham
Thanks again to Barry at The WhiskyPhiles for the sample
Waxy spicy oak spices, gentle fresh vanilla pods, with the waxy shell, preserved lemons and waxy lemon peel, hints of fatty cured meats
Dusty oaky dunnage warehouse, oak leaf sauce, green wood notes, waxy preserved lemons, Parma ham wrapped lemongrass
Waxy, oaky, lemons
SMWS 76.108 Raspberry Ruffles
This dram from the distillery known as the Beast of Dufftown, is a perfect example of how brilliant single casks can be and how complex.
only 11 years old and matured in american oak thais has imparted some fabulous tropical fruit notes into the whisky, along with spicy and vanilla oak, with a touch of savoury biscuits, a fabulous dram, and one i wish i had a full bottle stashed away of this.
Sold out a long time ago, keep an eye on The Scotch Malt Whisky Society for more from distillery 76
Dusty pineapple upside down cake, lots of undercooked dough, savoury tuc biscuits, acetone and some hints of bitter tropical fruits, starfruits and hints of plantain & eucalyptus.
Tropical fruit salad, stirred with a big spicy oaky stick, come first, followed by a splash of eucalyptus, then more biscuity notes of digestives with honey, undercooked dough and plantain,
Sweet tropical,fruits, yum
Mortlach 1971-1996 (Gordon and MacPhail)
Mortlach 1995 Celebration of the Cask (Morrison & Mackay)
Mortlach 16 Year Old - Flora and Fauna
Mortlach 15 Year Old (Gordon and MacPhail)
Mortlach 1997 14yr (Old Malt Cask)