Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Belated Whisky Advent Day 21: Mortlach Rare Old

So, the observant among you will have noticed that this is a continuation of the Whisky Advent series I was carrying out before christmas, the even more observant among you will have noticed this and then thought "Not really Advent anymore, is it Hugo?!?"

This is of course correct and I apologise for the tardiness of this and the next few posts, I got a little bit sicky before Christmas, was then caught up in the holidays and straight after that started a new job. My most vociferous repentance is laid before you. Anyway, lets crack on!

Mortlach is one of those many Diageo distilleries that is churning out whiskies 24-7 and is generally used for blending, notably in the Johnnie Walker range.

Recently however, there has been more and more official releases under the distillery's own name and this dram is from a fairly recent new line from the distillery of four different whiskies ranging from the Rare Old at £55 to the 25 year old at £600.

Firstly for me I would say that £600 sounds like far too much for a 25 year old whisky, but the quality might be other-worldly, let's see...

On the nose this is quite classic Speyside with a noticeable sherry influence in dried fruit, raisins, some nuts and orange peel. There are also some vanilla, slightly candied fruits and some ripe fruit, especially peach and pear.

But this is quite light and grassy, and not as heavy as an old sherried malt might be (although we don't know exactly how old or rare this is).

On the palate the alcohol is a little raw - it's not overpowering in strength (at 43.4%), but there is very little body to this whisky and it's quite thin which seems to push the alcohol to the front and the whole palate is dull and fairly muted.

There's spice, cedar, vanilla, caramel along with pepper, raisins, honey. There is a very woody note on the palate, not necessarily bad, but very noticeable.

This is a very 'okay' whisky - there is a fair amount going on with both the nose and the palate and everything seems to be in harmony somewhat.

However, for me there just isn't enough body here and the spirit seems a little slim. I'm not sure what it takes to classify a whisky as rare or old (not being classified terms), but here I don't think this is particularly old at all.

A serviceable dram in a nice bottle overpriced at £53.95 (available at Master of Malt)

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