I have been a fan of Mortlach ever since I tried my first independent bottling a number of years ago. Later on, the 16-year old Flora & Fauna bottling became one of my staple malts. Which is why I was all the more disappointed by Mortlach’s revamp of its core range in 2014: below par quality, ludicrous 50cl bottles, expensive - well that’s my view. This here is the newly launched 16-year old, matured in both first-fill and refill ex-sherry casks, bottled in 70cl bottles, and 2.81 times distilled, as every Mortlach buff expects it to be. Let’s try it.
The nose begins with a load of dark fruits, honey, and caramel candies. Then there are flavours of apricots, cinnamon and leather, followed by a touch of tobacco. Deep, complex and superbly balanced.
The palate is medium-bodied and sweet. Right upfront there is a little dose of wood spice. Notes of peaches and apricots come next, followed by a hint of orange peel. Then there is more cinnamon and leather.
The finish is of medium length and sweet. There are flavours of apricots, honey, and marzipan.
I am blown away by this new 16-year old Mortlach: it is a complex, wonderfully balanced and also very yummy single malt. Less “dirty” than the F&F bottling but equally multilayered and rounded. Mortlach has returned in style!