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This is an 18 year old Mortlach from a refill sherry butt distilled on July 19, 1995 and is one out of 586 bottles. SMWS USA sold it for $155.
In color, light amber. This one was a challenge to appreciate because it was not the great triumvirate of malt + sherry + peat that we all know so well. Rather, it is an offbeat combination of chalky Mortlach + mild oloroso sherry.
On the Nose: Varnish, a little shoe polish, giving way to stewed fruits and spice. A slight hint of vanilla. Then the kind of orange one finds in cognac, but pleasantly deeper and more rounded here. Malt and wet paving stones.
Palate: At first, caramel and pretty closed. Instead of water, I let the glass sit for almost an hour and the dram smoothed out and opened up marvelously: light clover honey and bananas. Almondy, buttery, waxy. Then light honey again. A long development.
Finish: Long, bitter and drying, but not unpleasant. Then quite a lot of wet, chalky slate. Like licking a paving stone on a rainy day.
A fine, offbeat, chalky sherried Mortlach. It took me half the bottle to decide if I liked it. Now I am wistful that the bottle is almost gone.