Well, rare and old this one surely is! A 58 year old Mortlach! I still can’t really wrap my head around me getting this from Gordon & MacPhail.
This one was also delayed quite a bit in reviewing, but I wanted to find a special moment for it. In the end, or as it is also known, last Sunday, I decided to no longer wait but create that moment. And also, any moment you can taste something like this is a special moment, so it got a bit selffulfilling too…
I’ve not tried an overload of Mortlachs in recent years, but generally they are well loved. I think Mortlach works especially well with sherry casks. The combination of their heavy, meaty spirit works magically with fruity and sometimes slightly bitter sherry flavors.
The nose is soft and rich, with lots of (great) oak and sherry. Some crisp menthol notes with beef and charcoal. Those oak chips for smoking on the barbecue too (unlit). Some earthy notes like dunnage warehouses have, so whisky soaked soil with wet oak and cobwebs. Later I get some chocolate and butterscotch.
The palate is very gentle. Quite dry, very full and rich. There’s oak, charcoal, menthol. I’m also getting cherries and cherry stones (so a slightly bitter note too). Sherry, dark chocolate and again those earthy notes of dunnage warehouses. Old casks.
The finish is dry and slightly tingling. Quite warming too. Oak, casks saturated with whisky, some beefy notes. Heavy with some cherries, chocolate and caramel. Not as long as I expected.
Oh. My. God. If there ever was a whisky worth almost two thousand euros, this just might be it. This is so insanely good!
I’ve tried a 66 year old Glen Grant and a 58 year old Glenfarclas a couple of years ago. Those were ridiculously good as well, but in those whiskies the spirit had lost most of its power, which made them completely wood driven. Not a bad thing, but it did make the brand names quite interchangable.
This is not the case with this Mortlach. It does everything you expect from an old, sherried Mortlach with the charry beef scents and flavors coming through very well. Even at ‘just’ 43% ABV, it just shines.
Everything works in this whisky. Everything.
Mortlach 1954-2012, 58yo, 1st Fill Sherry Butt 494, 43%. If you can still find this, it will set you back at least € 1800…
Thanks a million to Gordon & MacPhail! Much obliged!