Tonight is the Burns night, the right time to run out all your Haggis’ stocks. Which whisky will you pair with it? It’s up to you! We choose a 2004 special release, a Mortlach surprisingly matured in ex-bourbon caks. Surprisingly because – as you surely know – this Dufftown distillery usually uses sherry casks to reach a quite unique and unmistakable profile, meaty and sulphury… But that’s another story. The colour is a light gold.
N: in a blind taste, we would bet on Northern Scotland distilleries… and we’d lose everything! Distinct notes of wax (extinguished candle) and paraffin we’re crazy about. Under this curtain, a dizzying sweetness goes wild: intense vanilla and toffee, hints of pineapple, even lemon notes that we’d never thought we’d get in a Mortlach. It’s also nutty (walnuts?), herbaceous and balsamic (gentian). Is there some apricot, too? The truth is that there are so many suggestions in this complex and admirably balanced nose.
P: what a tastes rhapsody! It starts with the aforementioned wonderful waxy notes and then it opens the floodgates to a pronounced but never cloying sweetness: vanilla, candied pears and citrus fruit, lemon curd… Swallowing, here it comes the oak, with bitter herbs that assure a last, great pleasure to the lucky drinker (which is us, really). Again gentian, hints of ginger.
F: very bitter chocolate, wax again, with aromatic herbs. Long and persistent.
Without undermining it, the nose smells fresh and “young”, even if very complex and multi-faceted; then the palate brings us back to the “Planet over 30”, with the wood beautifully integrated in an elegant frame. Judging this bottling make you wonder why Mortlach doesn’t produce a core range. And why bourbon maturations are so rare? Gnawed at by these concerns, we give 93/100 to a really, really, really good whisky. Here you can finde Serge’s notes, more focused on the peppery palate.
Recommended soundtrack: Bill Withers – Who is he (and what is he to you).