Malt of the Month: April 2015
We choose our Malt of the Month to highlight some of the great whiskies of the world. Some are well known, some less so, but you can be certain that if it's our Malt of the Month, then you won't be disappointed. This month we've chosen:
Mortlach Rare OldSpeyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Please wait Web Exclusive Price
Mortlach Rare Old is the entry-level offering in the distillery's super-premium range launched last year, as part of the single malt's rebranding.
Matured in a mixture of first-fill bourbon and sherry casks, as well as refill and rejuvenated casks, this has a complex combination of flavours. Pleasantly weighty on the palate, it shows the distillery's character while harking back to bottlings of old.
Tasting Notes by Billy Abbott
- Nose: Hazelnuts, spicy cinnamon, raisins, candied orange and floral touches up front. There's quite a lot of sweetness, with some dry, leafy notes balancing barley sugar and vanilla fudge.
- Body: Thick and oily, with dark chocolate, real maraschino cherries, dark wood, plump raisins, spicy cinnamon, liquorice and biscuits – garibaldi biscuits with cherry jam?
- Finish: Spicy cinnamon hangs around, with raisins, more cherry and toasted nutmeg.
- Comment: Lighter than the old Flora and Fauna, but still packed with flavour: sweeter and fudgier than before, but with a good slug of sherry-cask-matured whisky in the mix.
Mortlach was built in 1823 in the small Speyside town of Dufftown, once home to many distilleries – it used to be said that 'Rome was built on seven hills; Dufftown stands on seven stills'. Founded by James Findlater, the distillery changed hands 10 times before the turn of the 19th century, including a short time under the ownership of James & John Grant who removed the stills to use at Glen Grant. In 1895, it was taken over by George Cowie & Son, who went on to be merged into what we know today as Diageo.
Diageo continue to own the distillery, one of four still operating in the town, and employ a unique part-triple-distillation process, resulting in the brand's '2.81 distilled' slogan. Until last year there was only one bottling, a 16 year old as part of the Flora & Fauna series. This was replaced with a new range, including Rare Old, and plans to double the size of the distillery – Mortlach is on the up once again.
A full-bodied spirit which lends itself to long ageing in sherry casks, it produces rich and robust whiskies that are loved by connoisseurs around the world.