Nose: Quite hot and a little reserved at first. Rich and somewhat meaty sherry but with enough freshness to not leave you feeling that the malt has been completely overpowered, fig and raisin sit at the fore. A little water opens things up beautifully adding black cherries, sweet tobacco and a hint of leather. Complex, feels a little older than its years. More time in the glass draws out mocha and a touch of candied orange peel.
Feel: Mouth filling and slightly oily.
Taste: A rush of nutmeg led spice before the coffee from the nose reappears. Dark sherried fruits build slowly upon the palette backed by waxy orange and rather elegant, sweet tobacco smoke.
Finish: Beautiful and rather long, the ever present mocha and a soft dab of smoke mingle with stewed dark fruits and gently drying oak.
I have a rather high opinion of Mortlach, it can be a fabulous spirit and this bottling certainly doesn’t disappoint. The sherry is quite heavy without doubt and while it does benefit from a little water to draw back a few of the harsher edges the blend of aromas and flavours is just wonderful.
Some of the SMWS bottlings seem to be very well done, this certainly sounds like one of them.