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, 29 July 2015


Its been 6 months since my last Mortlach review and in the meantime I found and opened a Mortlach that I first tried at a tasting all the way back in 2008. No notes were taken back then, but I remember it as traditional style sherried Mortlach and a very enjoyable dram.

So, does my taste buds of today agree with the ones I had 7 years ago?

The old maltings at Mortlach across the road from todays facilities, May 4th 2014 © The Malt Desk 

Mortlach 1988 19yo (b. 02.2008) 57,6%, ex-sherry butt, 664 bottles, Cadenhead Authentic Collection

Colour is light mahogany

Very obvious and quite spicy sherry here - a very heavy classic Mortlach style showing in this one. Its quite dirty and moldy with some struck match and burnt toast. There's dried fruits (raisins) and hints of blackberry and cloves


Dried fruit, candied orange and dark chocolate, wet tobacco and black cherries. sulphur as in wine style and quite an earthy note. Goes on with a little smoky nuts and dark caramel and a burnt wood note.

I'm not a fan of sulphury whisky, but this one has just the right amount to add to an edge to this whisky and the sensation is so evident here that I'd say for sure that the cask is the main contributor here. Its just too much for it to be the spirit on its own.

I don't think its as good as I remember it to be - from memory I'd maybe rate it an 86-87p, but its still a more than decent whisky!


A few added thoughts...

This one comes across quite differently now than it did 7 years ago. So much that I have to ask myself a few questions about what stands out in this whisky from then 'till now...

Have I become more sensitive to sulphury notes ... and did know what they were 7 years ago?
I'm sure I have and yes, I did know back then... 

Have daily factores like time and food consumed been taken into account when tasting whisky?
Yes, I almost always taste whisky/take notes early in the evening and never after having strong or heavily flavoured food, like chili or curry

Has oxidation after opening and up to the point where I now review this bottle contributed to change the character of the whisky?
It sure has, which is why I don't review a whisky until its at least 1/3 down

So what can we conclude from this?
There are many factors that influence your sense of taste and smell, but most of all -or in this case for me- I'd say that 7 more years drinking whisky has made a difference.

In 2008 I was already well on my whisky-way, but its really from 2008 and onwards that I have made the biggest steps on my whisky journey - making that periode of time a huge part of how I've experienced this Mortlach and whisky in general! I'm picking up stuff both on noses and palates of whisky that I haven't before and I'm sure that if you ask me again in 5 years time, there's a chance its changed a somewhat again.

So get out there and try some whisky! There's great experiences to be had - especially if you try and go for older stuff/bottling and its certainly educational when you compare it with whats on the market today!

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