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.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


When visiting Dufftown I always swing by Mortlach Distillery... there's just something about the place :-)

This time, however, it was a bitter sweet feeling to visit the place. The planned expansion of the site by owners Diageo has resulted in the charming old stone warehouses on the front lot getting demolished in the name of progress. The lot was empty in May 2014 with just some rubble left and in mid October when I was back, there were now building equipment all over the site. But will this actually be put to use? Due to a fall in global demand owners Diageo has halted many of their investments across several of their sites and there's currently no indication of when and if they'll resume the planned expansions - at this point we can only wait and see...

But on to the whisky... Independent bottler Cadenhead has long been a favourite of mine and these past couple of years has seen some cracking stuff from the Campbeltown based bottler. So good that 3 bottlings from Cadenhead made my top 6 list for 2013 - that should be a clear sign of quality, right? Cadenhead also manages to still keep their prices out of the 'complete silly'-range which certainly gets a thumbs up from me as well :-)

A very good example of that is the 1992 Mortlach I'm about to review, which retailed at just £60 in late 2013...

The empty lot at Mortlach - The existing distillery buildings visible to the right, May 4th 2014 © The Malt Desk

Mortlach 1992 21yo 55,2%, ex-sherry hogshead, 228 bottles, Cadenhead Small Batch

Colour is hazelnut

First impression is that the whole thing is rather fresh, light and crisp in style, but also very sweet still... Blueberry and cherry, overripe fruits, a bit of chocolate and some oak spices nipping at your nostrils along with an ever present toffee caramel note.

A honey'ed sherried Mortlach. More overripe fruit, black olive and blackberries this time, but also clove and hint of cinnamon. Water brings out some notes akin to apple and oranges. Water produces a vegetable/herbal edge for me both on the nose and palate, mainly fennel and dill. The whole thing rounds off with a dash of oak and bitterness.

An incredible easy drinker, even at full strength 55,2%. Its very good whisky for sure, but it stays on a very narrow path and doesn't produce any real surprises except for the herbal notes. It's a good think I like this style of whisky :-)


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