Archive for the ‘Mortlach’ Category

Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask Mortlach 1995 (20 year old) 55.5%

Bourbon Hogshead 4123/ Dist: 1995 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

The nose is quite coffee’d and malty with hints of tangerine, rhubarb and berries, all liberally sugar coated. With time hints of custard, straw and white liquorice appear.

The palate is soft and lightly honeyed with toffee and earthy barley. Hints of tangerine, malt and lightly coffee’d spices follow. Lovely mature finish with a juicy, succulent, lightly mineral and citric finish.

Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask Mortlach 1995 (21 year old) 52.6%

Bourbon Hogshead 4122/ Dist: July 1995 Btl: Apr 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

A robust, malty and meaty nose with baked fruit, barley and more malt! Hints of apricot and rose water lighten the nose a touch. Very subtly oaked but with time it does become pleasantly creamy. Late hints of gooseberry and lime.

The palate is robust and full with a lovely density of barley, apricot and malt. The oak adds some subtle toffee notes and a little bitter spice. A touch of mineraly lime freshens the middle and the citrus continues into the finish, but it’s beautifully balanced by the fruit and oak beneath. Subtle baked fruit after-taste.


Mackillop’s Choice Mortlach 1997 (20 year old) 50.2%

Bourbon Cask 2977/ Dist: Sept 1997 Btl: Sept 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Fragrant and straw-like aromas with fresh vanilla, floral and musky white fruit, acacia honey and barley. Very classy and evocative with late hints of gooseberry and lime.

The palate is elegant and delicate with a robust, malty core. Hints of straw, baked fruit, wood spice, light treacle and grippy, peppery tannins. Seriously complex and juicy with and exuberantly vanilla’d middle. Long and honeyed with a lovely, mature oak finish. Sensational stuff!

Mackillop’s Choice Mortlach 1991 (23 year old) 56.6%

Sherry Cask 5887/ Dist: Aug 1991 Btl: Jan 2015/ Tasted: Apr 2015

A nose of gritty coffee’d spices/tannins and sweet, herbal notes. Thankfully there is a good depth of dark chocolate infused dried fruit to counter the tannins. The herbal notes become a little rye-like and with time a hint of sweet barley appears.

The palate is uber soft but the tannins put in an appearance pretty quickly. Hints of treacle and liquorice counter allowing the lovely, aged dried fruit to emerge. The battle continues on the middle and it’s the herbal tannins that eventually win, but the finish is gorgeously juicy – sultana, apricot and dried grape all lavishly coated in dark honey and dark chocolate. A little citrus note freshens the finish. A damn fine old sherry butt, as they say!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Mortlach 2007 (10 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2736/ Dist: Jul 2007 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

Fresh aromas of crisp pear and lemon with dusty barley and hints of lemon grass, green banana, apridot and very subtle oak.

The palate opens with the sweet barley and honey with a little more toffee/ vanilla oak. Pleasantly balanced with hints of lime, green apple and more barley on the middle. Long, with lingering barley, dried spice, liquorice and coffee.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Mortlach 2004 (11 year old) Wine Finished 50%

Wine Finished Refill Bourbon Hogshead

Code: OMC2531/ HL12150/ Dist: Nov 2004 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Jan 2016

The nose is quite floral with malt and slightly gristy/ herbal barley. With time some subtle fudgy oak appears along with some sweet, possibly winey summer fruits.

The palate is quite weighty and full with oily oak and sweet barley. Broad and juicy with hints of citrus and grass. Medium length with lingering oak, citrus and white fruit.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Mortlach 2005 (12 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2641/ Dist: Jan 2005 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A slightly gristy, barley’d and honeyed nose with lightly astringent, herbal notes. Hints of cherries, boiled sweets, marshmallow, earth and citrus follow.

The palate opens with a little more in the way of toffee’d oak but the sharp citrus notes balance. Quite stony with an almost salty-minerality. Showeing a pleasant depth of white fruit, barley and subtle spice. Good intensity with the oak supporting. Long and fairly sweet with a touch of rose Turkish delight, berry fruit, malt and subtle coffee.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Mortlach 2000 (13 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2348/ Dist: Nov 2000 Btl: Jan 2014/ Tasted: Feb 2014

The nose is pretty malt and straw-like with hints of lightly honeyed barley, white fruit and a little peppery spice.

The palate is soft and straw-like with apple, white fruit and crisp barley. On the middle there is a touch of darker honey and malt with some robust malt infused baked fruit. Good length with a light spiced finish and quite a sweet after-taste.


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2007 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0058/ Dist: Feb 2007 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

A lovely, full, broad and pleasantly fruit nose of slightly tropical apricot and pineapple. Hints of sweet barley and a light herbal note appear with time.

The palate is very much like the nose with plenty of apricot, barley, honey and Sauvignon-esque white fruit and grass. Seriously mouth-filling with a touch of vanilla on the finish. Very enjoyable!

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2007 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0103/ Dist: Oct 2007 Btl: July 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

Softly honeyed aromas with grass and herbal notes. Crunchy barley, granulated sugar and hints of digestive biscuits follow. With time the herbal notes become almost rye-like.

The palate shows a good depth of barley and white fruit along with hints of thyme and mint. A touch of vanilla and citrus comes through on the middle and the finish is very herbal with a lightly spritzy citrus finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2008 (7 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0143/ Dist: Nov 2008 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

A very fresh and citric nose with candied white fruit. Slightly perfumed and slightly bubblegumy with developing Sauvignon Blanc-esque grassy notes. The subtle, creamy oak sits beneath and with time hints of earthy barley emerge.

The palate is soft and bubblegumy with white fruit, apricot, grapefruit and grass. Lovely citric intensity with a subtle minerality. Long and remaining fresh with hints of white liquorice and spice. A lovely, wakey, wakey dram!

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2010 (7 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0255/ Dist: Jan 2010 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Aromas of spritzy white fruit, bubblegum and grass along with a touch of barley and nascent sweet fruit.

The palate is full and shows more complexity. Sweet barley, white fruit, apricot and a touch of oak. Lovely freshness and intensity with a good citric finish with lingering barley husks and lightly peppery fruit.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2010 (7 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead?/ Code: HEP0297/ Dist: Jan 2010 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

A fresh and fragrant barley led nose with plenty of honey and hints of strawberry mousse, white peach and dusty spice. The aromas become quite sweet with time but the alcohol balances.

The palate displays a good balance between the citrus and honey, with hints of barley, white fruit and minerals. Some vanilla oak comes through on the middle. Long and mineral with white fruit and strawberry mousse.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2007 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0220/ Dist: Oct 2007 Btl: July 2016?/ Tasted: Aug 2016

Pleasantly fresh aromas with granulated sugar sprinkled white fruit, apricot, pineapple,, malt and breakfast cereal. A lovely Sauvignon-blanc like grassiness appears along with some citrus to balance the slightly bubblegummy nature of the fruit.

The palate is fresh and citric, but full and honeyed too. The toffee’d oak is more noticeable but the Sauvignon-blanc like grassiness and tongue tingling spice gives the finish a real sparkle and vibrancy. Very enjoyable.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2005? (9 year old) 46%

Code: HEP0029/ Dist: ???? Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A nose of intense straw-like white fruit along with a touch of apricot and black pepper. A little hard with hints of barley and a developing perfumed note.

The palate displays more toffee’d oak with white fruition a touch of honey. The toffee notes begin to dominate but there’s some pleasant sweet barley. Reasonable citrus finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Mortlach 2005 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0094/ Dist: Jan 2005 Btl: Mar 2015/ Tasted: Apr 2015

The aromas are quite heavy on the barley and chunky un-vanilla’s oak. However hints of lemon and lime add freshenss. With time hints of honey and vanilla appear.

The palate is initially fresher before the toffee and barley arrive. Quite malty with hints of baked fruit on the middle. Softly spiced finish with the returning citrus along with a lightly herbal pulped fruit note.

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 15 year old 43%

Sherry/ Tasted: Dec 2013

A soft, slightly dusty and sweet nose of refill-sherry dried fruit and barley with hints of orange peel and gin like botanicals. With time some malty, buttery oak notes appear.

The palate is soft and buttery with malt and lightly sherried fruit. Very clean with hints of citrus and soft spice. The sweetness builds on the middle and it finishes with the returning malt along with hints of walnuts, raisin and light treacle.

Diageo Flora & Fauna Mortlach 16 year old 43%

Oloroso Sherry/ Tasted: June 2012

The nose is very heavy on the chocolatey first-fill Oloroso notes. Burnt leaves, damp earth, wood, toffee, liquorice and treacle. Yes there is no distillery character whatsoever (as expected) but it’s very clean and complex with a late orange marmalade note. 

Full, soft and sherried with dates, treacle, liquorice, burnt wood and chocolate. Again very clean with a citrus-spirit note appearing.. A big, thick and juicy middle with a continuation of the sherry theme along with added brown sugar and a smidge of spice, again dark! Now you may think that this is a one dimensional sherry monster but that citrus-spirit note actually gives it quite a refreshing finish.

Angus Dundee Distillers Mortlach 23 year old 54.4%

Bourbon/ Tasted: July 2011

A lovely intensity of honey and malt along with hints of grass, earth and white flowers. Good maturity with a touch of sawdusty oak. With water it becomes lighter brining out some orange notes. 

The palate is soft, honeyed and a touch simple although it has a good depth and richness. Dilution does bring out some sugar coated yellow fruit, gentle honey and a touch of banana. Finish: Neat the alcohol masks but with water it is endowed with a leafy-spice and oak finish. In conclusion: A lovely nose, but the palate is a lot less expressive.

Signatory Mortlach 1990 (14 years old) 43%

Sherry Butt 4404/ Dist: June 1990 Btl: July 2004/ Tasted: May 2005

Aromas of aged dark Oloroso sherry, dripping in spiced honey and earthy notes. If it hadn’t been for the sulphur blemish it would have been very pleasant. Dry, quite full with plenty of sherried citrus fruit along with a touch of spice and earth. Surprisingly salty and unsurprisingly sulphur tainted!

Murray McDavid Mortlach 1990 (13 year old – at the time of tasting) ?abv


Tasted: Directly from the cask in 2003

A very rich oloroso nose, vegetal with a touch of crème caramel, toast and candied orange and tangerine citrus fruit. It has a rich, unctous, oily texture, showing hints of oloroso sherry, spice and honey – very complex, a great length of dry, tangy fruit with the mere hint of salt and peat.

Murray McDavid Mortlach 1993 (11 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Port/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2004/ Tasted: Dec 2006

Quite youthful with the bourbon oak initially apparent, then comes a wave of rich, slightly winey, spicy fruit – oily orange and citrus. Medium bodied, dry and spicy with a delicate hint of wine and dried fruit, cloves and cinnamon. Good tangy length.

Murray McDavid Mortlach 1994 (15 year old) 46%

Bourbon/Yquem Finish

Dist: 1994 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Full and honeyed nose with hints of oxidised fruit and juicy but crisp barley. Hints of herbs and creamy oak follow. A lovely balanced nose.

The palate is quite sweet with honey, apricot and hints of dusty barley and oak. Beautifully honeyed with hints of oily, baked fruit on the middle. Long and vanilla’d with hints of acacia, hyacinth and heather in the finish.

James MacArthur Old Masters Mortlach 14 year old 45%

Tasted: Nov 2010

A rather reticent nose. And I would suspect another whisky aged in a well-used cask, although unlike the Glen Ord there is a touch of vanilla on the nose along with some perfumed honeyed fruit, cereal and dunnage notes. Actually with time it becomes extremely perfumed. Underneath there are hints of maturing brittle honey and the oak is beginning to turn sawdusty. 

On the palate it seems a lot younger. Slightly honeyed fruit with some grist and malt, but it’s the youthful cereal and slight marc note that dominates. Good length though with a touch of coffee in the finish. Once again the alcohol is quite intrusive and like the nose very little wood interaction. Adding water it becomes a light, crisp, Spey. Pleasant if a touch evanescent.

Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore Mortlach 1993 (11 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Mar2006

Clean, crisparomas of earthy malt, orange and apricot fruit, with grassy, barley sugarnotes – lovely depth and crispness. Dry and crisp on the palate with apricot, malt, earthy spices and a soft natural character. Medium bodied, faultlessly clean, great delicacy and a touch of spice on the middle with white fruit and salt notes to finish. This is an absolute bargain! 

Duncan Taylor NC2 Mortlach 1993 (13 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1993 Btl: 2006/ Tasted: Oct 2007

A light, classic Mortlach nose of rich citrus fruit. Pleasant depth. Soft, smooth and juicy on the palate. Mouth filling fruit is balanced by an almost tart alcohol. The wood adds some nutty, spicy notes. Lovely length with a refreshing, yet simple fruitiness. 

Duncan Taylor Mortlach 1988 (16 year old) 57.9%

Sherry Cask/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2004/ Tasted Apr 2006

Deep, intense aromas of luscious, creamy, honied, rich, dusty orange sherried fruit, vanilla and spices. Very big and expressive with hints of earthy malt – Superb!

Dry, clean, rich, luscious sherried fruit, very intense with oodles of sherry spice and vanilla extract. Lovely length with the clean barley notes evolving. Water softens the nose and gives it an earthy/ vegetal edginess (I prefer it without as it detracts from its honied creaminess). On the palate it brings out a ginger note and dusty spices. It mellows it and pulls it all together.