Tag Archives: Mortlach

Mortlach 21 Year Old (Goren’s Whisky)

Today we have something special for you: An indie matured sherried Mortlach. In the last few years it was very very rare to see new sherried Mortlachs coming to market and those that did came were quite pricey.

I’ve been keeping eyes on this cask since the moment Tomer told me about it a few years. While I was disappointed it took a while to realize and bring it to the shelves, I’m glad it finally happened earlier this year.

This Mortlach was distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2017 (and released in 2019!), matured in a second fill PX Sherry Butt that yielded 258 bottles with abv of 51.8%

Mortlach 21 Year Old (Goren’s Whisky) (51.8%, 690₪)

Photo Credit: whiskybase.com

Nose: Sweet dried fruit, dried dates, toffee and caramel, plums, followed by leather and meatiness. Then it’s replaced by dark chocolate, roses water, dried cranberries, cherries and grapefruit and it’s stabilized to fresh sour fruit with leather and chocolate combo. Continue reading


Mortlach 16 Year Old (Distiller’s Dram) Review

After reviewing last week the new entry level Mortlach 12 Year Old, it’s time to tackle the next step on the Mortlach ladder – the new Mortlach 16 Year Old.

The new Mortlach 16 Year Old is the litmus test of the new line up as Inevitably it’s compared to the classic Flora & Fauna Mortlach 16 Year Old which was a loved whisky (even I liked it) and then became a cult and sought after bottle when it was dropped from production in favor of the older (and failed) line up.

Unlike the 12 Year Old which is from ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, the 16 Year Old is from first-fill and refill sherry casks – far more promising combo when looking for the old glory of Mortlach.

Mortlach 16 Year Old (Distiller’s Dram) (43.4%, £81.75/67.95)

Nose: The exclusive sherry casks usage is very noticeable here with depth and complexity of sweet dried fruit, red apples peels, baked cinnamon, milk chocolate followed by dark bitter chocolate. After a few minutes in the glass it’s getting nutty and more ‘Mortlach-y’. Meaty, extra depth and darker and sweeter shades of berries, chocolate and meat. Continue reading

Mortlach 12 Year Old (The Wee Witchie) Review

Many words were written and many pixels were darkened discussing and dissecting Diageo change of heart with Mortlach and rebooting the entire line up after the move towards premiumization of the distillery failed.

The new line up is back to basics with 700 ml bottles, age statements and using more sherry casks to restore some of the glory Mortlach achieved with their meaty and sherry whiskies.

The entry level in this new line up is the 12 Year Old which employ both ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry casks. It’s named ‘The Wee Witchie‘ after the smallest Mortlach pot still (must be because it’s the youngest offering in the new line up).

Mortlach 12 Year Old (The Wee Witchie) (43.4%, £50.75/€46.95)

Nose: Bright, fresh and sweet with vanilla and sweet berries, strawberry, raspberry and gooseberry – lightly jammy. Cinnamon and cloves, cereals almost cake-y, oak spice, all-spice and nutmeg. After a few minutes lovely red apples peels and meatiness. Continue reading

Old Particular Mortlach 12 Year Old (DL12363) Review

We had a lovely weekend with colder weather and rain but seems like we’re cutting straight into springtime here with warmer weather and greenery everywhere. Time for some springtime fitting whisky, a 12 Year Old Mortlach charged from a single bourbon cask.

Mortlach fitting for springtime? Well, Even though I’m coming from the “whisky fits all seasons” school, if you’re not following this rule, just bear with me for a little more and read the tasting notes below before disagreeing with me.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Mortlach 12 Year Old (DL12363, 48.4%, £60.95/350NIS)

Nose: You feel the Mortlachness here with dense and heavy nose, hazelnuts, fresh grapefruit peels and juice, bread-y, dough, fresh Granny Smith apples, vanilla and a big dash of honey. Continue reading

Mortlach 25 Year Old (G&M Distillery Labels) Review

Not all Mortlachs were born alike. For many years, Mortlach and Gordon & MacPhail were synonymed for their semi-official releases back in the days before the official lineup from the distillery. The 15 Year Old and the 21 Year Old Mortlachs from G&M were (and are) a classic example of what Mortlach is all about – meaty sherried whisky like no other.

In late 2018, as part of the re-branding of the Distillery Labels series, G&M launched a new member for the Mortlach line up. Now in addition to the 15 and 21 Year Old whiskies we now had a new top of the line expression – a new 25 Year Old Mortlach.

Since I liked the 15 and 21 Year Old versions a lot, I was very eager to taste the new 25 Year Old, hoping it will deliver similar experience yet more complex and refined.

Does it deliver?

Mortlach 25 Year Old – G&M Distillery Labels (43%, £175/178,90/$149.99)

Nose: Not so meaty as I expected considering the other members in this family, honey, dried berries and then some meatiness. Balanced and well defined, everything’s sharp, meat, oak spice, pepper, Biltong, raspberry and red gooseberry. After a few minutes there’s soft cinnamon buns, vanilla buns and nutmeg. Continue reading

Provenance Mortlach 8 Year Old (Douglas Laing) Review

After a few years absence, Douglas Laing whiskies are back in Israel whisky market, represented by a new importer, Sipil Premium Alcohol. This time around we get to enjoy the full Regional malts line up and a few single malts, all priced very reasonably, so those are great news for whisky drinkers over here.

The single malts range at launch consists of two entry level Provenance whiskies and two Old Particulars, so naturally we’ll start with one of the Provenances, the Mortlach 8 Year Old.

Over the last few years, since Diageo has started Mortlach premiumtization process ,the count of indie releases of Mortlachs has seriously dwindled, with the rare Mortlach releases priced extremely high which is a pity because the classic Mortlach profile is so tasty (especially when aged in good sherry casks). But lately we’re seeing indie Mortlach back in market, albeit with young age statement releases like this Provenance release that was distilled  in 2008 and bottled in May 2016, but as long as they carry the Mortlach characteristics, we should be satisfied.

Provenance Mortlach 8 Year Old (46%, DL 11257, 245NIS)

Nose: Bready and pastry-y, citrus, cured meat, full bodied, pepper is lurking deep below the surface. After a few minutes there’s lemon and honey and later on there’s cinnamon and red apples, hmm lets call it red apples pie, shall we?

Palate: Malty, thick, fruity with citrusy edge, white pepper, rich sweet fruit, red apples peels, cured meat, gentle oak spices.

Finish: Short medium finish, bitter apples peels, lingering lemon and oak spices.

Thoughts: Young, not overly complex, but oh yeah, it’s so Mortlach-y with those meaty notes and the fruity notes. It’s an excellent summer dram so I’ll be buying myself a bottle (can you have a better buy recommendation than that?). Slainte!

(Official sample provided by Sipil, IL Douglas Laing Importer)

Mortlach 1998 18 Year Old Signatory Vintage for Whisky Exchange

Yes, I know it’s been a while since my last post and it’s even a longer period since my last review. As this blog is just a hobby I try maintain alongside with family and work, sometimes they take precedence over it causing some periods of hibernation. But I hope to resume regular reviewing and posting on the blog from now on, at least until the next work related crisis 🙂

Few weeks ago I got a few samples from The Whisky Exchange. To be exact there were four samples of new whiskies bottled exclusively for the Whisky Exchange by Signatory. The one that I was really keen to taste was the sherried Mortlach 18 because I love sherried Mortlachs since I tasted the Flora and Fauna Mortlach 16 and indie sherried Mortlachs are practically nonexistent in the last few years since the official Mortlach line up was launched.

And even this sherried Mortlach didn’t spend its entire life in a sherry butt. It started in Hogsheads (bourbon I supposed) and then it spent 54 months (4.5 years if you really want to calculate) in a sherry cask, yielding 681 bottles at 55.8%.

1998 18 Year Old Signatory Vintage for TWE (55.8%, £120, Cask #5)

Mortlach1988Nose: I thought (and hoped) it will be a classic meaty Mortlach nose but it’s not. Not that it’s a bad nose mind you. There are raisins and sweet dried red berries on the top with some cloves and cinnamon, overall feels a bit jammy. One time Lemon pie note, big brown sugar sweetness, A bit floral and polished furniture library. After a while finally some stronger meaty notes shows up here and there. Continue reading

Cooper’s Choice Mortlach 1996 19 Year Old Review

Haven’t tasted lately too many Mortlachs and it’s sad as most Mortlachs I tasted were very good and tasty (new official lineup notwithstanding), so it’s time for a new Mortlach review on the blog and today: a 1996 vintage Mortlach from a bottle share we did locally here. This bottle got me curious as I’m more used to ex-sherry Mortlachs, while this one was aged in an ex-bourbon cask.

It’s a 19 year old single cask Mortlach, bottled under the Cooper’s choice brand, a sibling to Finlaggan and Ileach brands from Vintage Malt Whisky Co. bottled at 53.5%, non chill filtered and not colored.

Cooper’s Choice Mortlach 1996 19 Year Old (53.5%, €135,70)

cooper's choice mortlach 1996 19 year oldNose: Not exactly a textbook Mortlach nose with a fresh nose and not much of the meaty stuff. Instead there is a leathery note and apricots, a restrained storm of oak wood spice, honey and vanilla pudding and freshly sawed evergreen woods with dust, With time: more apricots but of the jammy type, with lemon peels and a soft perfume edge. Continue reading

Whisky Review: G&M Mortlach 15yo vs G&M Mortlach 21yo

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)

G&M mortlach 15Nose: 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)

G&M mortlach 21Nose: 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.

Whisky Review – Kintra Mortlach 14 Year Old

I’ve been a bit busy thing morning so take a quick review of a bit different Mortlach whisky: a Mortlach 14 Year Old by Kintra, a small yet well known Netherland independent bottler.


I consider it a bit different as it was aged in Bourbon Hogshead and then finished in first fill Sherry Cask while most Mortach whiskies found in the market are either strict full sherry maturated or some bourbon casks. How is the combo of bourbon and sherry gonna work here?

Kintra Mortlach 14 Year Old (48.6% , €70)

Continue reading