Mortlach 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 700ml
The entry point of the Mortlach range, combining both ex-bourbon- and ex-sherry-matured whisky to balance the distillery's traditionally weighty, dried fruit character against fresh fruit and vanilla notes. The result is a success, combining the best of both of these worlds while still showing off the meaty Mortlach spirit.
Nose: Rich and deep, with immediate warming, toasty oak tones (wood shavings) and a light peachy element that moves towards honey and then cooked fruits hinting at good depth. Some chestnut helps to add a sweet nutty background alongside hints of wax crayon. This impression of oak, sandalwood, light spice, and fruit - now with some dried berries - slowly gives way to some charred elements, hard (Highland) toffee and some light meatiness. Once this is established (and it takes time) it starts to deepen, earthy, petrichor, (the smell of early autumn), dried blossom, pineapple and bitter orange that itself extends into Terry’s chocolate orange and then cooked plum. As it dries so the woodland gives way to a coal bunker/lichen encrusted logs in a woodpile.
Palate: A sweet, almost peachy, concentrated start with a little oak and almost smoky (charred) element. It’s at its most expressive on the mid-palate where you pick out bitter chocolate, marmalade and light tobacco that’s balanced by a puddle of syrup before it deepens further and starts to grip, there’s liquorice, roast chestnut, tree bark, roasting coffee, and a burnt edge which might be the sulphur working its way out. As it develops so you get bourbon biscuit, then the meaty flavours which themselves have the herbal qualities of goat or lamb. The grip loosens, and light gets back in with things getting sweeter and also more spicy.
Finish: Quite dry and slightly sooty/ashy with oak (fresh-sawn timber). There’s some plum with an added hint of bitterness.