Thanks to /u/devoz for pouring me a sample of this.
A few years ago Mortlach interested me. There weren’t OBs readily available near me and it was a Speyside. Oh, and all the ones I kept finding were older drams.
This hit or miss, only older dram entries skewed a few of my views. At one point I’d tell you that you shouldn’t buy one under 19 years old. And since then I’ve had one or two below those ages and I’ve had ones that have fallen somewhere between hit or miss and thus destroyed that preconceived notion.
Which is good. No one man should have all that power… wait, that wasn’t what I wanted to write. I wanted to say you should challenge your notions and keep trying things.
Thus we come full circle to Mortlach 22 Single Malts of Scotland, a Mortlach in the ages of Mortlachs that I’d typically recommend. Not a single cask, rather this is a blend of 4 different casks, presumably sherry and ex-bourbon, but I don’t know that for certain, for all we know it could be all sherry or all ex-Bourbon. EDIT: I’ve now been told that it states it’s 3 ex-Bourbon hogsheads and 1 sherry butt. Thank you to Devoz for correcting me.
Oh well, let’s not sweat the small stuff and get into this, shall we?
Price: $275.99 CAD
Cask Type: A Marriage of Casks (3 Hogsheads + 1 Butt)
Colour: 5YR 4/8
Nose: Twizzlers, plum, orange, sourdough, ginger
Sweet notes. Eventually comes down to a “normal” level of just fruit sweetness. For those of you not eating the American diet, that means “bland”. And yes, as a Canadian, I include myself in that diet, as much as I hate it.
Water opens up a funky/cereal note, some heat is going into it. All quite nice.
Taste: Ginger, apple, cinnamon toast, watermelon
Spice, more developed cereal/bread notes, and nice fruitiness around the outside. Spice takes on the main aspect here, though I’m getting a lot of notes rooted in sugar, and while my inner child is happy, my outer dentist-paying-for-adult is wanting some balance.
Finish: Ginger, ham, orange, burnt sugar, apple cinnamon
Got that nice meaty note that Mortlach is known for (sometimes), and I’m all here for it. That’s helping with the sugar issue though not quite enough.
Conclusion: Very tasty whisky, but needs more spice and fruit than sugar. This is the older whisky that you purchase and are totally fine with pouring on special occasions. Is it going to blow the mind of a whisky nerd? No. But they aren’t going to pass up trying it either, because it’s spiced fruit. It’s a tasty, if overly sweet, hot apple cider on a cold day. It’s whatever the opposite is of 10,000 spoons when all you needed was a fork.
Man I gotta stop listening to hits from the 90s. My point is basically this: Mortlach typically either falls on its face or is majestic. As time has come on and I’ve tried more of these and more people have wanted more Mortlach, we’ve ended up with these “okay” ones, and that’s alright by me.
Scotch review #1353, Speyside review #368, Whisky Network review #2025