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Mortlach 16yo OB (43 %, Flora & Fauna)

It seems right to start our blogging saga by paying a tribute to the very first bottling put in collection: in the far 2009 a literary conference in Edimburg became an excuse for coming back in Milan with the only Mortlach OB bottling. From that moment on everything changed… of course regarding our average alcohol level.

Mortlach is well known for the heavy sherry influence in its ageing heritage, but Jim Murray, in his 2011 Whiksy Bible, isn’t so nice to this Speyside distillery, believing that Mortlach is so popular on the german market due to a passion for strong and not very refined organolectic profile.

N: immediately pungent, very rich. At first- what a surprise!- we can detect sherry and malt but, as time gone by, a soft and quite sweet smoke emerges. It reminds us of certain pipe tobaccos. Then every classic sherry note rules the senses: dried fruit, especially raisins, perhaps dried figs. Sugar cane. We like it, with a touch of creme brulée and red fruits.

P: very soft on the palate, but with an unexpected bittery and woody note, at first. Then, it turns to a lovely and rich sweetness, made up of currant, dried fruits, dates. As for the nose, we find again pipe tobaccos and sugar cane. Definetely sultanas, reminding us of some kind of Marsala wine. 

F: rather dry and not very persistent, even if something smoky and woody remains; a faint note of red fruits still lives.          

In the end we can’t deny we enjoyed this Mortlach. It’s an afterdinner malt and it’s a fun to sip it appreciating all the difference nuances. However, to tell the truth, the same nuances seems to be fully explorable, even for a newbie whisky drinker. The german market will excuse us, certainly. In our evaluation, it misses one or two points because of a short finish: 84/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell – Deus Ibi Est, from the album Ballad of the Broken Seas

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