Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mortlach 1995, 18 Year Old, C&S Dram Collection 56.2%

A single bourbon cask Mortlach from German bottlers C&S Dram Collection.

Mortlach has gained the majority of its renown through its interaction with and maturation within sherry casks, but there are of course a few bourbon cask incarnations floating around as well. Maybe not so many in the near future, though, as the distillery's owner "re-positions" the Speyside whisky into a "super-premium" "brand".

I've ranted about this before - elsewhere - and don't think I can muster the requisite outrage to do so again at this point in time, what with the ongoing slaughter of children in Gaza and such.


Mortlach 1995, 18 Year Old, C&S Dram Collection 56.2%

Nose: Nice and fruity from the outset, bourbon-derived fruits like peach dominating at first, with further time in the glass seeing the emergence of something like orange. There's cream, too, coupled with some sweeter custard notes. A dash of soy sauce lurking in the background as well.
Water doesn't add too much to the nose.

Palate: Pretty aggressive at first, a spike of intense heat and fruit on the front of the palate. Spicy pepper, with a hive-load of sweet beeswax and honeyed peaches. There's spiced (cloves) orange here as well. A hint of bitterness emerges, too, after a while.
The addition of water tones down the spice, but the palate becomes more mouth-coating and generous.

Finish: Lemon and apple develop on the finish, joining the honey and pepper. It's reasonably long, with some astringency emerging towards the end, along with a bit of wood bitterness.
Water abbreviates the finish somewhat, though makes it slightly less astringent and bitter.

Enjoyable whisky this. The bourbon cask brings out the lighter-and-brighter fruit aspects of Mortlach that you might not immediately recognise or find in a sherried version, and the finish offers enough complexity to hold one's interest to the bitter (sorry!) end.

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