Mortlach 15 year 43% (Gordon + MacPhail)

The downside of gallivanting off to Amsterdam last year was I missed one of our monthly tasting sessions. However as it featured whiskies from four different countries, I managed to finangle a special ‘make-up’ session.

What follows is a blend of notes from another club member and mine from the ‘extra’ evening. 

Mortlach 15 year

Mortlach 15 years 43%, Scotland, Bottled by Gordon & Macphail

  • Colour – Burnished gold
  • Nose – Oily, malty, orange, christmas cake, overripe banana
  • Palate – Dances on the tongue, dry yet somehow also with a heavy oily undertone, hint of sweetness, raisins, fruits, smoooooth
  • Finish – Finally a ‘real’ finish like it never wants to let you go! Spicy

For those not familiar with this Speyside distillery, Mortlach  is better known as an element in India’s favourite Johnnie Walker blends. Only recently (i.e. 2014) did it start to sell a range of single malts under the distillery brand with Georgie Bell aka Miss Mortlach leading the way as global brand ambassador.

The Mortlach Distillery (

The Mortlach Distillery (

By far the most interesting of the evening and a reminder to keep grabbing the Gordon & Macphail bottlings. A cross-sampling of their Mortlach and Ledaig led to speculation that while each is distinct, there is a stamp of ‘character’ that distinguishes their products. One of these days would be interesting to re-sample several Gordon & MacPhail bottles with their standard distiller editions.

The official tasting notes for this Mortlach 15 :

Without water:

  • Nose – Initially sweet, fresh and fragrant with a distinct malty nose. Citrus elements develop – fresh orange peel. Well rounded.
  • Taste – More subtle sweetness, hints of candied fruits. A rounded Sherry edge is evident and some raisin and sultana notes emerge.

With water:

  • Nose – Malty and fresh on the nose with a subtle sweetness present, defined Sherry influences and a hint of chocolate and orange linger in the background.
  • Taste – Light and very delicate with a subtle malty edge, with a rounded Sherry influence and a hint of vanilla also. Slightly mouth warming.

From so so (Glen Breton), curiosity piece but…. (Hammer Head), good (Nikka) to fab (Mortlach), I’m so glad I didn’t miss our little trip around the globe!!

Glen Breton, Hammer Head, Nikka from the barrel, Mortlach

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