This release from the Italian bottler Wilson & Morgan is a Mortlach that got a finish of 18 months on a Marsala cask (after a regular maturation on bourbon cask). It was bottled in their famous ‘Barrel Selection’ series at cask strength.
The nose starts rather closed, but after a few moments I get the typical umami spirit of the house, upholstered with green notes. While I get some fruit and nuts, they remain under the radar, as all the attention of the nostrils goes to the green herbs, vegetable soup, OXO and… peat? Absolutely green nose and practically unrecognizable as Mortlach, yet pleasant at the same time. It becomes sweeter as it gets to breathe and the mildly drying effect of the Marsala is there too.
What a great body! Nicely waxy and mildly piquant (pepper, nutmeg) and lots of citrusfruit. Think mandarin, lemon and Seville oranges. Nuts arrive (thank you, Marsala) with breakfast cereals, while woodsmoke appears and the green herbs slowly disappear. I get another peaty note, though. Surprising, but very pleasant.
The finish is long and now shows all the traits of Mortlach. Mineral, beeswax, woodsmoke and a nice bitterness at the death.
The nose took some getting used to, but if you give this malt ample time, it becomes quite powerful. Robust and elegant at the same time. Around 120 EUR. I will gladly pay that fort his bottle.