Exculsive Malts – Mortlach 17yo – 53.3% ABV


MortlachSpeyside region – 53.3%ABV – US only — Price: unknown at this point.

Day two of the Exclusive Malts reviews.

Interestingly enough, after having my little fun with the term “nut skin” yesterday, two people unsubscribed from my posts.  As sad as this is, I gained three new subscribers and a few very nice emails.

Please know that on occasion, in addition to having fun reviewing whisky, I have fun using the humor of my inner nine year old boy.  Sorry if this offends some but, hey ho, I’ll keep doing what I do and will be ever thankful for all of you out there enjoying my posts.

Speaking of “doing what I do,” I’ll move on with my review of this 17yo Mortlach:

Mortlach-1On the nose –  I’m struck first by the scents of bruised apples and apple cider vinegar.  It’s quite present and tough to get past (thankfully, I’m enjoying those notes).

Freshly kneaded dough with a high yeast content and highly sugared cereals.  Speaking of cereal, I’m reminded of a fine muesli and golden raisins, too.

Hot cinnamon and apple sauce (currently warming apple sauce).  Grilled lemons.

Mortlach-2With water it gets a bit more savory with touches of baked tomatoes.

Mortlach-3On the mouth – Thinnish mouthfeel with a keen focus on the malt character of the whisky.  Honied water and just a hint of smoke in the background.

Cracked white pepper or, is it just peppery?  Hmmm…

Mortlach-4Rubber party balloons (or balloon animals), lemon fizzy candies and well, that’s about it I’m afraid.  So far, the nose wins out.  Let me add some water to see if it opens this one up…

Water adds a great amount of texture to the mouthfeel of this whisky and begins to align the nose with the flavors.  Adding water to this whisky was a good choice.

After about 20 minutes, it now, in an odd way, reminds me of Redbreast 12yo Cask Strength.

Finish – A surprisingly long finish filled with fruits and again that touch of smoke.

In sum – While not as approachable or easily dissected as the Clynelish I reviewed yesterday, a bit of patience and water pays off.  This would be a good whisky to have as part of a tasting.  Compare this to some other Mortlachs.  It’s an odd duck out from others that I’ve had but for those up to a challenge, this can be a good dose of fun!