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This Mortlach was distilled in August 1989 and matured in a refill sherry butt for 22 years, yielding 518 bottles.
The colour is a light mahogany. On the nose, very Mortlach-y: salumi, furniture polish, blood orange and dark chocolate. Earthy with rancio. Umami. Bovril. Big combination of oak and sherry. Rich and meaty - and a little sulphurous, which becomes accentuated with water.
On the palate the theme continues but with more chocolate, plus wet cigar tobacco, dark rum, rich sherry and blood sausage. There is a sour citrus grapefruit note. Ginger. Cloves. Smoked paprika. Macadamia nuts. Water adds more fruit: cherries, orange, blackberries. Better than the nose.
The finish is chalky, meaty and unfortunately sulphured. This malt crystallizes how I feel about Mortlach: love the earthiness, hate the metallic burnt sulphur. If you are one of those that follow the Mortlach cult, this one's for you - but it's not quite for me.