Our Whisky Ladies September 2017 Sunday Sundowner began with a Mortlach. Til date, most Mortlach’s I’ve sampled were independent bottles such as the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s 76.131 “Totally Tastylicious” or two Gordon & MacPhail offerings – the 15 year and 37 year. All of these were simply superb!
However this was my very first official bottling – picked up by one of our Whisky Ladies from Duty Free. What did we find?
Mortlach NAS 49%
- Nose – Restrained, very sweet and fruity with some floral elements like lavender and herbs, reminds one of early summer, some honey, wildflower and yet you need to work at it to catch all the nuances, the range of aromas do not come easily
- Palate – Surprising after such a subtle nose, it initially hits with alcohol on the palate, then continues in the fruity vein with apricot. The next sip was quite woody on the edge of being harsh. Further sips did not reveal anything significant.
- Finish – A smokey finish with spice and again apricots
- Water – Helps mellow it down – bringing out honey raisins on the nose and, after it settles down, reduces the punchy brashness of the palate, revealing a spicy bitter dimension
This is one that absolutely smell sweeter and more nuanced than it tastes. It also falls into the category of NAS fare (since dubbed “NASPy“) which has nothing specifically very wrong, but also limited distinguishing features to make you stand up and pay attention.
If I was to be perfectly honest – it disappointed.
Simply as it is quite different than earlier Mortlach’s sampled which truly did live up to labels like “Totally Tastylicious” or the full-bodied, meaty and multi-layered Gordon & MacPhails.
So what do the Mortlach folks have to say on the box about this whisky?
A clear amber colour introduces complex aromas of ripe red apple and berry fruit underpinned by a supply savouriness. Which all evolves as a rich ice cream sweetness, with creamy vanilla on the intense palate fresh blueberries and black cherries soon meet sweet, smooth honey. Then savoury spices and late wood. The finish is long and richly rounded.
This Mortlach was opened in September 2017 fresh for the Ladies to sample and was last spotted at an airport sporting a $120 price tag for a 50cl bottle. More than a tad high for what it delivered…
What else did we sample in our Whisky Ladies “Worthy Whiskies” Sunday Sundowner?
- Arran Amarone Cask Finish 50%
- Lochside (1981/2005) 43% G&MP
- Aultmore 5 year (2007/2012) 66.8% (Master of Malt) with a clear palate divide…
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