Mortlach 16 Year Old
70cl / 43.4%
- Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Mortlach 16 Year Old Reviews
Tasting Notes by Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange
Nose: Singed raisins and oozing apple pies – dark fruitcake slathered with rich apple sauce. Stewed apples sit at the core, surrounded by dried fruit, dark sugars and rich spice. Damp-oak rancio and fresh-oak cinnamon are joined by raisins, dates, chocolate and a touch of Dundee cake.
Palate: Rich and thick, with brown sugar syrup stirred into a bowl of dried raisins and apples. The sticky sweetness is tempered and balanced by gentle barrel char and sharp orchard fruit – unripe apples and crunchy pears. Dark oloroso notes build – sweet and savoury dried fruit – and dark chocolate sauce pools underneath. Hints of menthol and clove hide at the back.
Finish: Mint and menthol fade to chocolate raisins. A menthol tingle lingers.
Comment: Not as meaty as the Flora & Fauna and, in my opinion, better for it. More balanced, with sweet and savoury fruit as well as a touch of the Mortlach weight.
Nose: Rich and deep. It is slightly shy initially, but with a sense of massed weight. Stewed black and orchard fruits (damson, black cherry) with an immediate earthy note and some spice. While there is some honeyed sweetness, this has greater maturity than the 12-year-old, coming across as leaf mulch, with a burnt element: dried Nora pepper/grilled red pepper and light blackened skin (the pepper’s that is, not human) and chocolate which moves the meatiness towards molé. The oak is more relaxed (or integrated) allowing the gutsy almost feral weight of the distillate greater say but there is some planed wood alongside light varnish, then nutmeg and raisin. It gets progressively darker and richer with some biltong/beef jerky hints balanced by the sweetness. It also gets slightly nuttier, reminiscent of mature Gouda/Emmental.
Body: Robust and full. Palate coating.
Palate: Big, quite deep, but also sweet. As on the nose, there’s some spiciness here (frying mustard seed). It is this sweeter element (toffee-like, with some dried apricot and the honey note seen on the nose) which comes over first. This softness then gives way to a chewy-mid palate where the darker fruits lurk. It then goes deep. Light, slightly leathery with malty elements then a gamey meatiness with supple tannins. However, rather than just the more powerful oak influence beginning to dominate the cooked fruits return adding a layered quality. Rather than sweetness you get a more savoury effect. Dark, full, liquorous, and rounded. As it moves into the back palate, so it starts to dry and pick up in terms of intensity and moves into the shadow of the trees.
Finish: Surprisingly, it sweetens again. Long, complex and, yes, meaty. Now you also get the Syrah-like sootiness.