Mortlach 20yo - Wine Society | 57.0% | Speyside
, Scotland founded: 1823 | active
For more detailed mapping of the distilleries in the area from our whisky map page, use this link
Meet #21 | 30/03/12 | Hosted by Saskia
With reduced numbers, we opted to try a couple of cask strength lesser-known Speysides, from Longmorn and Mortlach.
Caramel leather – this one’s a dominatrix with a ‘softer side’. It’s the walk home on a sultry evening in July – wet hay, wet stones and the smell of a hot tarred road after a summer shower. Rich, juicy aromas whet your appetite: melted brown sugar, sultanas, prunes and Polish dark chocolate-covered plums precede a second helping of pudding - pancakes, toffee apple and spotted-dick. To round off the evening a leisurely smoke with pipes packed with dark shag tobacco. It’s the smell of a well-stocked pantry, where hungry midnight explorers stumble across left-over pizza, mozzarella, gherkins and the half-empty bag of liquorice all-sorts.
To begin, a traditional feast of Christmas pudding, flaming brandy, pear tart, prunes and other dried fruit. Sweet and salty flavours mingle with something grittier – an accidental spoon of salt in your cup of tea (followed by a spoon of sugar to mask the salt), baccalà and a shovel of coal. Wholesome whole-grains - bran flakes and golden syrup on pumpernickel bread - are washed down with burnt espresso ("better not be made by a barista", pipes in Phil).
Mortlach seems to always have a gloriously rich colour.. could the taste match it?
Finish & Comments
It’s a trip to the curry house - lime pickles, spicy cormorant (the mystery Walker crisps flavour) and the last lick of lamb madras from the pot. There’s a hint of sweetness to the mix, chocolate lemon perhaps? Summed up as an indoor firework, this finish is more of a feel than a taste (like a puppy-dog’s ear, offers Jamie). The majority vote ‘medium’.
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.
80 / 100
Detailed scores (out of 10)
Tasting Game Points (out of 5)
[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic