Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Mortlach was the first distillery to be built in Dufftown, in 1823, by James Findlater. It was sold on to John Robertson in 1831, and during the following years ownership changed on several occasions and the distillery even was silent for a number of years. After it had been used as a brewery for a while, Mortlach was converted back into a distillery in 1852 to produce a whisky called “The Real John Gordon” (a reference to the owner at the time). In 1923 then owner Alexander Cowie decided to sell Mortlach to John Walker & Sons, the company that became part of Distillers Company Limited (DCL) two years later. The configuration of the six stills at Mortlach is unusual and probably unique in Scotland. The 'partial triple distillation' that is used at the distillery appears to be a variation of the technique that is in use at Springbank and Benrinnes. Mortlach's floor maltings remained operational until 1968, and in 1971 the distillery switched from direct heating of the stills to indirect (steam) heating. This particular expression was distilled on 1 January 1991 and bottled by Signatory on 11 January 2012 as a 20-year old from sherry butt #7706, with the total outturn being 577 bottles.
The nose is rich and spicy, with dried fruits, peaches and orange peel all making an appearance, followed by a whiff of smoke at the end. With water it gets quite fruity, followed by raisins and some balsamic vinegar.
The palate is full-bodied and spicy. The dried fruits are back, together with coffee and hints of leather. With water the palate gets more rounded and gentle; peaches and raisins are now the dominant flavours.
The finish is long and warming, spicy and a tad smoky.
This was a solid, good Mortlach expression, not my favourite one but well balanced and a force nonetheless. As usual, a drop of water brings out the very best in Mortlach.