Mortlach 10 Years Old 2004 – 76.120 Sweetie shop wish list ~ 58.9% (SMWS)

58.9% ABV, £48.40 for 70cl

Score: 86/100

SMWS

What they say:

The nose was a sweetie shop wish list – Dolly Mixtures, Liquorice Allsorts, Kendal mint cake, sherbet lemons, foamy bananas, toffee, tablet and pink marshmallows; all tempered by hot sawdust, nutmeg, clove, leather and brown sauce. The fruitiness really came out with water – guava, star-fruit, papaya, pear compote, rhubarb and fruit pastilles. The palate was controversial – some found it a mouth-drawing assault (‘bubble-gum soaked in vinegar’, pepper, oak) while others reported it as mouth-watering and juicy (cream soda float, salted caramel). With water, the juiciness definitely triumphed – exotic fruits, refreshers and blackcurrant vitamin C tablets, plus honey, butterscotch, maple syrup and pecans.

Drinking tip: A stimulating dram that could be served just about any time – maybe even with dessert. Improves with water.

Wild Game Match: Woodcock. Edgy young whiskies need strongly flavoured meat to bring out the best in both, like woodcock.

Date Distilled: 17 May 2004

Colour: Cleopatra’s necklace in the moonlight

Age: 10 years

Flavour : Young & spritely

Cask Type: First fill ex-bourbon barrel

Whisky Region: Speyside Spey

Game Match: Strongly flavoured woodcock

76.120

What I say:

This 10 year old bourbon-matured Mortlach (SMWS distillery #76) sample was on my radar after the September bottle outturn from the SMWS, unfortunately it sold like hot-cakes and I was too slow to get a bottle. We recently stopped by the SMWS Queen Street branch in Edinburgh for a spot of lunch (Game Tapas) and this seemed like the perfect start dram.

Colour:

Refractive yellow gold

Nose:

Fruity, barley malt, vanilla cream/custard, crème brulee, coconut ice, Kendal mint cake and sweet lemon sherbet

Taste:

Fruity apples, honey, malt, lots of bourbon-influenced vanilla, a little butterscotch toffees and some green coconut flesh

Finish:

Long lightly spiced like white pepper on pineapple

Would I buy it again:

Yes, very enjoyable – a little one-dimensional but very strongly flavoured considering its youth. This has hordes of vanillins so you have to work past them to get some of the other flavours out. That said it is not sickly sweet and is quite refreshing and palate-cleansing.