Mortlach Rare Old (43.4%, OB, 2015)
- Mortlach Distillery – Diageo
- 43.4% ABV
- Score: 67/100
What they say:
Reserved and discreet, first showing a ripe fruity tang of red plum, peach and blackberry. A dryer note in the smooth, nutty layer underneath reveals complexity and depth. In time there’s the baked sweetness of a buttery Madeira cake. The oak is restrained and natural, recalling a dry, sunny autumn day in the woods.
Stunning. Sweet, tongue-coating and fiery, then chewy on the mid-palate; gingery and tangy now too, ranging dense orchard fruits alongside a light gaminess. Growing sweeter, the flavours move from red fruit to liquorice to toffee, set off by a rich, supple and muscular structure. Becoming dryer, it’s still all beautifully pervasive and comforting.
Soft, coating and surprisingly sweet with blackcurrant and drying, yet silky-smooth tannins. Later, spicy with black pepper, as with chilli-accented dark chocolate.
What I say:
Sample B2B from the recent NAS vs age statement blind-tasting see The Great Age Statement Debate and Photo Finish Between Age Statement And NAS Whisky In Big Blind Tasting.
This NAS Mortlach expression was directly compared with Mortlach 15 Years Old ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) which we have previously sampled and scored 80/100 though in the blind tasting this dropped to 71/100.
White burgundy/amber gold (5/20) quick moving medium sized droplet tears
Cereal barley flour, vanilla sponge cake mix, not a lot going on? I suspected this was grain whisky/matured in bourbon
Zesty, citric, acidic, white pepper spice, lemon juice, ascerbic, green unripe fruit, greengage and gooseberry, strangely oilier and heavier in mouthfeel than I would expect from grain whisky – maybe this is malt whisky?
Thankfully short, spicy, virgin oak wood and more green fruit and wood
I found this thicker and oiler than G&M’s 15 Years Old expression but despite that it really didn’t carry much flavour. It seems I was in good company as this sample returned the poorest scores of all from the blind taste testers that provided them. Sadly Mortlach Rare Old is neither rare or old and neither does it taste particularly great either! Abysmal and disappointing is my best summation.