Celebration of the Cask Mortlach 1995 23 Years Old & Signatory Mortlach (2007) Cask #7


Today we've got two IB's from the beast of Dufftown. Mortlach was one of the first distilleries we fell in love with, so we've got high hopes for these two.

Celebration of the Cask Mortlach 1995 23 Years Old

Region: Speyside

ABV: 52.4%

Price: £143.00

This Mortlach was distilled on 10th July 1995 and bottled on 1st April 2019 from a Hogshead. It produced 251 bottles.

Nose

Initially we’re reminded of breakfast cereals Cheerios, Honey Nut Loops, and Sugar Puffs. Leaving our nose in the glass we notice lemon balm, hay, and lemon posset. The nose has a syrupy texture to it. Giving the dram air reveals a touch of spearmint/menthol, warm pineapple, wet sugar rice paper, and the skin of a persimmon.

Palate

Initially we’re getting lemon juice followed by some artificial sweeteners like aspartame, leading into a bitter grape juice note. There's no meaty bold notes we enjoy from Mortlach, but theres still a weight on the palate, just not what we were expecting. Going back there’s honey, soda water, and quinine from tonic water.

Nose (with water)

Water brings out some oak spice, brown sugar (pre-dilution was closer to white sugar for us), and tree bark. Going back we’re getting a hint of ethanol, and leather.

Palate (with water)

With water we’re getting lemon and lime zest, it’s quite pithy and becomes bitter as it continues.. similar to the finish on a gin and tonic. The palate has lost a bit of its viscosity. The finish is medium length and bitter, like bitter wood. There’s an aftertaste in our mouth of juniper too. Personally we don’t think it needs water.

Conclusion

A pleasant dram but not what we expect from Mortlach. Its not overlay complex but it is good quality. It's a bit too sweet and not overly characteristic of Mortlach. It's more like a classic Speyside, but the weighty spirit does add another dimension to the dram.

Score: 7.5/10


Signatory Mortlach (2007) Cask #7

Region: Speyside

ABV: 51.8%

Price: £134.00

This release was distilled 30th of April 2007, and initially matured in bourbon hogsheads before a finishing period of 21 months in a fresh sherry butt. It was bottled in 15th September 2022 at 15 years old.

Nose

There’s some aged balsamic, cherry Coca Cola, molasses, liquorice and black tea. Going back and there’s some dark caramel, a herbal note and some red fruits. The alcohol is well integrated and you can get your nose deep into the glass. Air reveals cassia bark and aniseed.

Palate

Cola bottles, or maybe better described as cola from a draft gun (where the syrup and soda water are separate). There’s a fizziness along with pepper, and creamy milk chocolate. We’re finding the palate is thin, and feel the cask has overtaken the spirit. This tastes a little disjointed, like spirit and cask aren’t properly integrated. It’s like an alchopop in a way. Going back we’re getting dates, and Christmas pudding. Personally we wouldn’t have known this was a Mortlach.

Nose (with water)

On the reduced nose we're finding blueberry jam, more aniseed, cinnamon and cloves. Going back there’s some treacle notes. Really not much has changed and it’s very similar to pre-dilution.

Palate (with water)

Diluted it’s become more sour. There’s sherry vinegar, tart berries, and a metallic, sharper, drier Sherry note. The Sherry has replaced the sweeter cola flavours. It’s more harmonious as a whisky with water, but very hot and spicy on finish like big red chewing gum and with a touch of bitterness on the finish. Personally we’d recommend not adding water to this.

Conclusion

It’s more like cola than whisky, and really not much like a Mortlach in terms of its characteristics. Saying that if you accept that then you’ll find a good dram here, but one that’s too expensive, and because of that we can’t go higher than a 7.5/10.

Score: 7.5/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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