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Mortlach 15 Year Old

Such stuff as drams are made on

0 695

@WhiskyBeeReview by @WhiskyBee

20th Sep 2012

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    95

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

One of the most well-balanced whiskies I've tasted, Mortlach 15 yo (Gordon & MacPhail bottling) is kind enough for the novice, yet full-bodied and layered enough for the most demanding anorak. From nose to finish, it's a winner in every department.

Nose: Very malty at every stage, whether straight from the bottle or after 30 minutes of opening up. Also plenty of sherry, apples, sour citrus, vanilla, cake, and tiny dashes of just about everything on the spice rack. The only slight negative in the entire experience is a teensy trace of dust that emerges from time to time. But it's usually well-hidden by the many other delights.

Taste: Delicate -- almost fragile, in fact, as it opens up -- but so well-rounded and layered. Nothing screams; everything is whispered, yet there's so much going on that the total effect is as rich as it is cloud-light. Malt, sherry, vanilla, toasted wood, caramel, raisins, slight meat notes, a hint of milk chocolate, and I think I get a touch of spearmint in the finish. The arrival is a bit neutral, but the development reveals countless delights the longer you chew it. Finish is as smooth as butter on silk, and as satisfying as Grandma's Christmas dinner.

I've rated only two other whiskies in my cabinet as high as this one, and I would have awarded this an extra point or two were it not for one puzzling factor: why is my bottle at 40% ABV when it seems to be widely available at 43%? (I might have scored it even higher had it been at least 46%!)

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6 comments

@mattberg
mattberg commented

A great dram this and also worth trying is the 21yo by G&M... both superb.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I am quite intrigued by this bottle. Thank you for the review. I trust your opinion.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

It costs $108 here. Worth it?

8 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

@rigmorole -- yeow, that's about $30 more than what I paid for it. It seems to be an expression well-liked by most reviewers, although some don't rate it nearly as highly as I do. Dave Broom, for instance, has some nice things to say about it here (scroll down to the last review):

whiskyadvocate.com/whisky_reviews.asp/…

...but he gives it only an 82.

Personally, I don't buy $100+ whiskies unless I can sample them first. I'd suggest shopping around. It's widely available at about $79 at many locations. As much as I like it, I'd have to think twice about replacing my bottle for $108. Too much for a 15 yo, low ABV whisky, IMO.

8 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

I just noticed the link I provided doesn't take you directly to the Mortlach review page. Search on "Mortlach" in the "Search by Brand Name" menu.

8 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

Update, ten months on: Either my bottle has flattened out a bit, or I now demand much more to be impressed by a 40% ABV malt. It's still an excellent dram, and I still get most of the same aromas and flavors, but it seems more anemic and watery. Do not allow water anywhere near the vicinity of this whisky. The tasting notes in my original review stand, but ignore all hyperbole. Updated score: 91.

8 years ago 0

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