Mortlach 22 1975 Signatory Vintage

Thanks to my wife who brought me out for my birthday. Heck, she even brought me home too!

Going out for a birthday dram. There’s some basic ideas I have for picking whiskies: I’d like them to be ones I’ve never reviewed before; I aim for distilleries I enjoy; I typically have one from a distillery I don’t have often; I like to pick from Independent Bottlers that I know can pick whisky that I enjoy; and I’d like them to have alright reviews if there’s some competition.

Oh and I’ll pick out a Mortlach if they have one. Because over the past few years Mortlach has become a regular on the non-peated side of things at the whisky table. Sadly the main flavours changed at some point, and now we have different flavour profiles showing up (grassy versus meaty).

How do I fix this? Why have some from 1975, of course! So to finalize the tasting I had Mortlach 22 1975 Signatory Vintage, an independently bottled Mortlach, bottled at cask strength, and aged in… an oak cask… Jeez people, would it be so hard to write down the type?

Oh well, beggars being choosers and all that. Nevermind the bollocks, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Price: Check Auctions, mortgage your house

Region: Speyside

Vintage: September 1, 1975

Bottled: September 18, 1997

Cask type: Oak Cask

Cask number: 6259

Number of bottles 260

Abv: 57.7%

Colour: 5Y 8/8

Nose: Honey, lemongrass, guava, tobacco (fruity/herbal)

Bit more subdued than other Mortlachs I’ve had. Also I’m not a tobacco fan. Which is great for my lungs, not so much for love of some whiskies!

Grassy, acidic, tropical, and herbal. Nothing wrong with that. If I’m being totally blunt, it has honey. I love honey more than the weirdest child of a bear and honey hawk pairing. Rule 34 freaks, do your thing!

Taste: Cardamon, ham, cloves, brown sugar, heather, apple

Spice forward on the taste. But the meat is there! Love meat! It comes together to get that honey ham/spiced ham feel to it, though the honey is closer to wildflower notes that you get off the cask.

Basically it’s perfect to be drinking this in December. Not that I’m turning it down any other month. Or in some hellscape where months no longer exist.

Finish: Dry pear, cumin, anise, honey

Long and very dry finish. Gets a little simpler with time. Earthy, honey, pear. Nothing I hate, and things combine well.

It’s an odd finish. It lasts forever, but the flavours aren’t that complex.

Conclusion: Flavours I enjoy. Flavours many people enjoy. If the nose was a bit stronger it would have been the easy winner. If the finish had been equivalent to other Mortlachs I’ve had, probably even then. As is? Winner due to me being a sucker for spiced ham and honey notes. I wanted that, it’s what I like, there’s debate if you can still get that in current Mortlach (among our whisky group at least), so I’m happy.

Knock 2 points off if you don’t love ham or honey as much as me. Heck, even the tobacco on the nose didn’t deter me.

85/100

Scotch review #1471, Speyside review #412, Whisky Network review #2174

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