A Trio of Tastings: Mortlach 12, 16, and 20-Year

by Stephen Hunt

For the first time since its conception in 1823 Mortlach has released a three part series with absolutely no peat included in the make-up of the spirit.  Retaining the 2.81 distilling process that is unique to Mortlach.  It begs the question;  Is the Peat a major part of the success or can you still enjoy the magic of Mortlach without it.

Starting with the 12 year old “Wee Witchie”  There is a strong pear aroma on the nose with a subtle oak smokiness, A very light body with notes of banana nougat and caramel. A lingering smoky finish.  Overall a layered but simple dram that sips well above expectations.

The 16 year old “Distiller’s Dram” was the big winner in this set for me as there was a nose of loganberry and the characteristics of the sherry casks came through strongly.  The Texture was silky and creamy on the palate with a medium body that filled the mouth with a smoky oak and jasmine leaves that ended in a long buttery berry compote like finish.

The 20 year old “Cowie’s Blue Seal”  had a much stronger bite than the other two with the sherry notes being more mellow but the smoke of barrel char shining through on the nose.  The palate was on the lighter side of a medium body with a lot of nougat and almond notes that finished with hints of orange leather and tobacco.

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