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One of my drinking buddies remarked once that Mortlach always reminded him of a good lamb stew. A couple of years ago I was perusing the shelves of a Connecticut liquor store and came across this bottle. I've always been a fan of Berry Bros bottling efforts (I don't think I've had a bad one) and recalling my friend's "lamb stew in a bottle" remark, I bought it. I didn't pick up any lamb stew notes but I did get a very enjoyable malt.
Color: Bright gold ("Uncoloured")
Nose: Stewed apricots, a bit of honeycomb and subdued sherry. There is a mint/vegetal note hiding in the background. I spent a lot of time with the nose but was not successful in getting a definitive impression - it was simply all over the place.
Palate: A bit worried about the nose, I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted the malt. There is a big and luscious barley surge which creates a wonderful viscous mouth feel. The malt simply coats the mouth. There is a nice subtle sherry element and the sweet-tart mid-palate is quite enjoyable. Finally, things start to dry out and vanilla makes an appearance as the wood starts to make its presence known. Chewy. Considering this malt has been on wood for 17 years the wood tannins are kept nicely in check.
Finish: Long and warming with spices starting to really pick up. Nice!
Notes: If the nose had not been so confusing, I would have marked this malt higher.