Mortlach ‘Sherry Beast’, Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish, 61.5% – Cooper’s Choice

When things are announced as a ‘sherry beast’ you can generally tell they’re going to sell well. When they are also a Mortlach, you can bet they’re going to sell even faster.

But honestly, when something is a sherry beast, my first thought tends to veer in the direction of ‘there’s no distillery character left’. Of course, that too, tends to change with it being a Mortlach. Mortlach has such specific flavors that it could stand up to the violence that is inflicted on this spirit.

There’s no age stated on this bottle, and based on the initial price of some € 70, you can already tell it’s not going to be older than some eight or nine years. Maybe even less.

On Whiskybase this scores over 87 points on average, with over a hundred votes. This is quite significant, I think. When there are so many votes for a whisky, the average tends to become relevant.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Brownie crust, apple treacle, a hint of coffee. Black pudding, dark bread, very meaty. Charred pork. Starts getting a bit soupy, brothy after a while, lovage.

Sip:
The palate obviously is quite hot, but it also feels a bit thin. Again, sweet and meaty. Barbecue with brownie. Minerals, black pudding, broth.

Swallow:
The finish shows a lot more typical sherry and whisky notes. Spices, barley, oak. But still a lot of iron, blood, apple.

This is an insanely weird whisky. It has the very typical meatiness of Mortlach, with the typical heavily sherried flavors from a fresh cask. This results in a very interesting whisky but, at least to me, not a very tasty whisky.

It’s all a bit too much. Too much alcohol, too much meaty flavors with the black pudding and blood flavors coming in too strong. Then the massive notes of the chocolate brownie not combining too well.

It’s all just too weird.

Strangely, it all gets easier when you don’t pay too much attention to the whisky. When you ‘just’ drink this, it’s pretty fine. There’s a lot of alcohol to get through, but at the end of a night, it’s just fine.

75/100

Mortlach Sherry Beast, Oloroso Sherry Cask 9355, 61.5%, Cooper’s Choice. Available on the secondary market for € 105

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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