About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Monday, 5 August 2013


Phew, its been a few days since my last post and the reason for that is that its been incredibly humid here and I... well, have had other plans :-)

Now that its cooled down a bit here, I thought I'd do a review of quite a sherried bottling from that cult Dufftown distillery of Mortlach... and an indie bottling as well. I almost said 'of course' here, as the only official bottling from Mortlach is the 16yo bottling in the Flora & Fauna range from proprietors Diageo... prior to this you could get the odd Rare Malt range bottling some years back, but my recommendation is that you go for an indie bottling if you're not a complete whisky novice - if you are, you should be well challenged with the 16yo F&F bottling.

Mortlach Distillery is not normally open to the public, but you have a chance to visit the distillery during the Speyside Whisky Festival each year in late April/early May... it certainly worth a visit! Especially their stills are very impressive - have a look at one of my previous Mortlach reviews here for a glimpse.

But back to the indies and Mortlach. As distillery bottlings are as rare as hen's teeth, you should obviously explore the indie bottlings. Now, Mortlach has always been a heavy spirit with a natural sulphur/meaty character, so again  if you are a novice or not an experienced malt drinker, approach this one with care... That said, the Mortlach can be hugely rewarding, if you give it time and also very fun - especially to try if you find an ex-bourbon cask version.

Now onto my review... this bottling is done by indie bottler Gordon & MacPhail of Elgin for the Dufftown Whisky shop located about 300 meters up the road from Mortlach Distillery itself.

Mortlach Distillery pagoda and warehouse, 26th September 2010 © The Malt Desk
Mortlach 1998/2010 12yo, 59,1%, Refill sherry hogshead#14438, Gordon & MacPhail for Whiskyshop Dufftown

Colour is dark amber

Lovely sweet but also very drying and spicy sherry. Some eucalyptus, chocolate, raisin, old leather and sweet pipe tobacco. Very peppery, almost chili like!

Dry oloroso arrival, very drying in fact, partly due to the high alcohol %.
10 drops of water makes this go slightly cloudy which is a clear sign its not chill filtered (which we like!!) and some oak comes out along with ginger and malt/beer notes though water doesn't seem to be taming the spiciness at all.

Also stale fruit, mash and the Mortlach heavy spirit character (meatiness/natural sulphur - not from the cask) can be found on the finish.

This is a lovely Mortlach - no doubt!


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