Saturday 25 March 2017

Mortlach Rare Old, 15 G&M and 1989 Mackillop's Choice Reviews

Hi everyone,

Who doesn’t love a meaty Mortlach?

Well, the owners apparently. They discontinued the 16yo from Sherry casks and replaced it with some crazy over priced whisky that’s had everyone reeling ever since. Oh, well. Luckily, Mortlach is still available with a lot of independent bottlers. Even some of their prices have started creeping up but thankfully not stratospherically.

Anyway, these first two I tasted a Bristol Whisky Lounge in 2014 and the last I was given a taste of out of the blue by a customer. Because of that, the notes are pretty shorthand.

Mortlach Rare Old 43.4%
Colour: E150a
Body: Light
Nose: Average sweet Speyside, very underwhelming with light ginger, cake and a touch of sherry.
Taste: Light, ginger snaps, ginger syrup, very light sherry.
Finish: Short length. Very soft with a tiny bit of spice.
Everything an NAS should be: Expensive, in a cologne bottle, in a smaller 50cl bottle and seriously disappointing for what we know can come from this distillery. Well played Diageo.

Mortlach 15 Gordan & Macphail 43%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Similar to the Rare Old in ways. A classic Speyside nose, balanced sweetness, fragrantly fruity, slightly perfumed, red apple.
Taste: Mellow and quite soft, building oak, but with a balanced sweetness, red apple again.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Mellow and soft still with the oak fading and a little spice.
Better but still not hugely complex. Very pleasant whisky though.

Mortlach 1989 Mackillop's Choice 54.9%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Classic Speyside aromas again, no meaty or sulphury flavours but some sherry influence and spicey ginger.
Taste: Big, meaty, swelling Sherry sweetness- Raisin but more juicy and meaty- Apricot and peach flesh. Ginger too, but not that spicy and oaky.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Soft sherry and some red apple sweetness.
Bottled 2012, 22yo. Really think Mortlach does better with the Sherry influence dialled up and at cask strength. Without it, it flounders.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #324-#326
Total Whisky Reviews #358-#360

Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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