We started the week with a review featuring a head to head duel of two Port finished Glendronachs and we’ll end the week with another double feature, but this time the two well known Mortlach expressions from G&M: Mortlach 15 & Mortlach 21.
Yeah, I love doing such reviews, pitting one whisky against very similar whisky. Doing such tastings and reviews showcase many subtleties in how distilleries handle specific expressions and sometimes reveals stark contrasts between them you’d never find if you don’t taste them together, so today we do the other half the Mortlach baseline.
Before Diageo decided to promote Mortlach and brand it as a premium whisky distillery, there were two whiskies that defined the classic Mortlach profile: Flora and Fauna Mortlach 16 and the G&M Mortlach 15 – both featuring the trademark of meaty, bit sulphury sherried profile of the distillery.
I covered the Flora and Fauna 16 here so it’s time to turn our heads to the G&M duo.
G&M Mortlach 15 Year Old (43%, £40.58)
Nose: Gentle and smooth feeling. Very restrained and I kinda notice it in many of G&M bottlings. Maybe some G&M casks trademark? Dry sherry, raisins, heaps of nuts & nutmeg, meaty, sweet berries, touch of milk chocolate and overall very balanced.
Palate: Tons of cooked nutmeg (so not bitter), dry and mild oak, dried sweet berries with some unripe sour berries thrown in, meaty & thick, bit of sulphur, bit of bitterness develops at the end.
Finish: Medium finish with oak, lots of nutmeg, a bit of sulphur, still very meaty and thick feeling, dry and nutty,
G&M Mortlach 21 Year Old (43%, £63.95)
Nose: Sweeter than the 15 and definitely more sherried, smooth and velvety, nutmeg, fresh unripe/sour berries, soaked raisins, some meaty notes but less so than the 15yo.
Palate: cooked nutmeg but not in abundant as in the 15yo, spicier, sweet dried fruits, gum bears candies, fresh red unripe/sour berries, lighter and not so dry, oak, nutmeg, cinnamon, still meaty, but you got it right, less so than the 15yo
Finish: Medium finish with lingering sweet, nutmeg, meat, veggie and dry at end.
Thoughts: Now that the F&F 16 is no more, the G&M 15 is the one standing down and representing the classic Mortlach profile so consistently. For those who may shy away from the bold Mortlach profile it represent, can find a good compromise with the 21yo but they will have to pay extra for it. Both of them are very good and represent a good value for your money – it’s just a matter of your taste profile and which one is better suited for your own taste buds.