Mortlach 1986, 27yo, 58.2% – SMWS (Spiced Champurrado, 76.112)

I always wonder how they come up with the names on their bottles. Now, apparently, someone found notes of a chocolaty drink from Mexico in this dram and thought the name was apt.



In this case, it’s actually something that might be a recommendation for a drink, but sometimes they also come up with paint stripper, and old diesel fueled boats getting a new layer of tar. Anyway, I’ve come to disregard the names a bit, but do read descriptions most of the times before ordering anything. This, because they tend to be accurate in the off notes.

This Mortlach was shared by our (for me former) Bottle-share group. One of the guys in the UK could get hold of this and it was fairly priced, especially when taking the upcoming releases of Mortlach in account. £ 600 for a 50cl bottle of 25 year old OB, or this 27 year old, at cask strength for some £ 125 I believe. A good deal if there ever was one.

The SMWS' Mortlach. Thanks for the image Ben!

The SMWS’ Mortlach. Thanks for the image Ben!

On the nose it’s fairly timid, especially for a whisky of this ABV. The age explains that a bit, but I would have guessed this to be 10% lower in ABV. It has the typical Mortlach heaviness and it’s beefy too. Thick steak with black pepper, but also a hint of cardboard. Some dried tropical fruits for a sweet note.

The palate is a tad sharper than the nose, but still gentle. It has some bite with more oak and dryness. There’s peach stone, lychee peels. Salted bacon and a crisp sweetness.

The finish veers towards charcoal and barbecue remains (which reminds me, I have to clean my barbecue). It’s long and has that bacon saltiness again.

This is one of the most Mortlach-y Mortlachs I’ve had in a long while. Of course, I don’t have that many Mortlachs since there isn’t that much available, and even less from good sherry casks. Fun fact: I would have sworn this was a sherry cask, but it’s not. It’s a refill bourbon hogshead.

It’s a bit of a strange one, this. At first I thought it was nice, good even. But by now I can’t wait to finish my sample since it’s an absolutely gorgeous dram. You shouldn’t go in expecting fireworks, but if you expect a gentle giant with mountains of flavour if you take the time for it, this one works. Like a charm. Great stuff!

It’s still available at the SMWS in the UK. Quite a few even, some 30 bottles.

Mortlach 1986, 27yo, 58.2%, SMWS, Spiced Champurrado, 76.112. Available at the UK chapter of the SMWS for £ 126.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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4 Responses to Mortlach 1986, 27yo, 58.2% – SMWS (Spiced Champurrado, 76.112)

  1. Pingback: Glen Moray 1983, 29yo, The Great Easter Bake-off, 58.8% (35.103) – SMWS | Malt Fascination

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  3. Pingback: My favorite whiskies of 2014 | Malt Fascination

  4. Pingback: Longmorn 1976, 32yo, 54.7% – Wild West Whisky Fest | Malt Fascination

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