Review: Mortlach 2013 Spirit of Speyside Festival

Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Mortlach Distillery

Bottling: Diageo

ABV: 48%

Cost: £100

Mortlach-2013-SoS-Festival

What they say:

An exclusive Limited Edition bottling of Mortlach, bottled to celebrate the 2013 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Hand picked casks, each selected to represent the individual aspects of Mortlach’s complext spirit. This has a stunning richness to the bottle, and bottled at 48%, – the in-house ‘unique’ code for Mortlach. Distilled at Mortlach Distillery, Scotland. (Diageo).

What I say:

The Mortlach 2013 Spirit of Speyside Festival bottling was the last great Hurrah from the much-coveted Mortlach distillery before the over-priced square bottles of despair were unleashed upon the whisky drinking public. Fanciful ideas about the colour and this expressions adherence to the old 48% ABV had people rumouring that this was the multi-accolade Flora and Fauna bottling in disguise. Sadly this appears not to be true and was actually a warning shot across the bows of any would-be Mortlach-lover that this once great whisky was not above corporate plunder.

Colour:

Refractive orange amber gold (11/20), slow large tears leave thick oily legs

Nose:

A slightly spicy ginger and cinnamon, rich molasses, treacle, rum-soaked raisins, dates, figs, toffee oak wood and a slightly minty/menthol quality.

Taste:

Light on the palate, Murray mints (menthol butter candy), rum-soaked raisins, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, oak wood, some spiced gingerbread, cinnamon and liquorice barely resolve on a sadly thin palate.

Finish:

Long, menthol and toffee sweet with powdered spices

Overall:

Very light on the traditional sherry and meatiness, noticeably bourbon (and young at that!) influence with poor menthol and liquorice notes of not-so-active casks. At the time of sampling I noted this was ‘a bit worrying’. Having since sampled ‘Rare Old’ , of which said expression is neither< it had been confirmed to us that the corporate rape of this once great distillery is well and truly completed. It has been a while since we sampled a Mortlach expression and this is the sad reason why.

Score: 84/100

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