I got this bottle at the airport during a recent business trip to London. It is one of the four new Mortlach expressions introduced by Diageo in 2018, with this 14-year old being available only through global travel retail. It is named after Alexander Cowie who assumed responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Mortlach distillery in 1896 and who introduced the ‘famous’ 2.81 distillation in 1897.
The nose is fresh, vibrant and rather zesty. Lemon flavours come first, followed by notes of oranges and apples. There is also a hint of milk chocolate.
The palate is medium-bodied and dry. I got flavours of vanilla and oranges, followed by some white pepper.
The finish is of medium length and quite spicy. The lemon flavours are back but somewhat subdued. There is a good dose of wood spice, together with a hint of cinnamon.
This is what I would call a somewhat atypical flavour profile for Mortlach. Both nose and palate feel fresh but also a bit thin. In contrast to the 16-year old there are no notes of dark fruits here, let alone of leather and tobacco, which can be explained with the different cask regime I guess: while the 16-year was exclusively matured in ex-sherry casks, for the 14-year old a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks was used. Not bad, but this is not my preferred Mortlach style - instead give me a dram of the 16-year old anytime.