Mortlach 26 Years Old 1987 [Cask #3102] – Adelphi Selection (Adelphi)

57% ABV, £85 for 70cl

Score: 81/100

Mortlach 26yo 1987 Adelphi

What they say:

A 1987 vintage Mortlach from independent bottlers Adelphi. This was aged for 26 years in cask 3102 and bottled in 2014 at full strength of 57%.

What I say:

Who can resist not only Mortlach but also a bottling by Adelphi, currently one of my favourite independent bottling companies, mostly because they bottle from a great range of distilleries that seems to encompass a good number of our favourites.

Colour:

Full old gold

Nose:

Honey sweet, perfume, toffee, caramel, Everton Mints (boiled sweets)

Taste:

Warming, spearmint comes off first before a mouth coating spicy white pepper and mint, develops into a sour grapefruit zest before oodles of cherry and coconut, hints of chocolate remind me of a Tunnock’s Snowball (marshamallow coated in chocolate and dessicated coconut)

Finish:

Long and refreshing, finally spicy oak lingers

Would I buy it:

Intriguingly good this Mortlach was all about-face for me with the mint coming first and the oak revealed last. Perhaps it was the strength of this expression masking much and leaving me with this mix-around. Normally I like my Mortlach’s so sherried the mint is difficult to spot. Indie bottling like this must surely give the new Mortlach range a run for their money, however Adelphi’s selection (being single cask bottlings) reveal a variety of characters and are unlikely to satisfy the continuity of flavours that the official bottlings must achieve. One for the more adventurous perhaps, I was still honoured to sample this expression and validated in my championing of Adelphi as bottlers of damn fine whiskies.