Shout out to /u/Devoz who requested I review a Mortlach, ANY Mortlach. So here’s a Cask Strength one.
Specifically Feather’s PubMalt of the Month. Well… this and Octomore 6.1. Which I own, so I went with this.
Also I don’t start with Peat. That’s just a recipe for disaster.
Like this intro where I all of a sudden say I’m doing a review series on Feathers again but let’s imagine I did it in a clear way and you know that I go there for my birthday to have whiskies.
My parents are typically late with this trip, which I prefer, as I’m not hammer for all of December (or drunker than I should be).
So I started with Mortlach 1988 17 Signatory Cask Strength. Why? Why not? I don’t really know. Maybe I didn’t feel like a Lowland. Or maybe it was requested.
Mortlach is yet another distillery in Dufftown, the city that reminds you of that one rich kid with all the Power 9s when you played Magic: The Gathering and you could only buy 1 booster a week.
Also it’s owned by Diageo, so that may be why we haven’t seen too much of it. However we have seen more of it lately, and from the Wikipedia page, they’ve made a splash quite a few times.
So let’s see if /u/Devoz should buy one or not. Also how it tastes.
Age: 17 years
Distilled on: 23/11/1988
Bottled on: 03/03/2006
Matured in a Sherry Cask
Cask No: 4726
Bottled No: 388 of 635
Colour: 2.5Y 8/6
Nose: Cereal, strawberry, fennel, dusty, parsley, caramel
Light nose, especially given the age and alcohol content. Takes some time to open up a little, and then blossoms into a full woman, like that show about a teenager, Sabrina.
The dusty note is new. I’m used to that on the finish more so than on the nose. Not a sherry bomb at all.
Taste: Fennel, strawberry, buttery, orange, kola nut
The sherry influence is here, yet not a big one. They don’t say so, however I’d guess these were refill casks of a lighter sherry.
Love the kola nut flavour, it’s quite unique. However the rest is mostly typical Speyside fare, maybe with less oak than I’m used to.
Finish: Sea air, caramel, dry, meaty, pepper, anise
Nice finish reminds me more of a non-peated Islay than a Speyside, however that could just be the sea air aspect.
The meaty aspect comes into play here, with lots of spices with it too.
Conclusion: So a brief caveat here: I noticed there was cork in the glass (minor pieces) and it was the last dram of the bottle. So this may have oxidized.
Assuming it hasn’t, it was somewhat weak. Didn’t really have much in the way of big, interesting, or unique flavours, which was too bad. I wanted a little bit more from it. Could be not so great sherry casks on this one.
If it has oxidized, then I can see it being 3 points higher. However ifs and buts and candy and nuts and all that, I had what I had, so I’ll rate it as such, assuming it doesn’t shrivel up in my cold demeanor.
I’ve had a better Mortlach before. I can’t say this one enthralled me. If I was deciding to buy based on this drink alone, I’d pass. That won’t stop me from trying others though, and I like to believe that this was an outlier.
Scotch review #407, Speyside review #123, Whisky Network review #628