Today we’re looking at two sherry bombs from one of our favourite distilleries affectionately known as “The Beast of Dufftown“.
Woodrows Mortlach 12yo cask #900300644
Distilled 19th January 2010, it rested in a refill hogshead before being finished in 1st filled Oloroso Sherry Amercian Oak Hogshead, from Bodegas Sanchez Romate, for 2 year 3 months. 275 bottles were released.
We're getting rich sherry aromas right off the bat, lots of juicy raisins and sultanas, some freshly ground black pepper, cherries, tree bark, a slightly herbal/earthy aroma and the faintest hint of tamarind. There's a mustiness that masks some of those richer notes, and it feels like the alcohol is a touch too hot, but we're enjoying the nose overall.
The palate starts off with big chocolate flavours - chocolate coated raisins and mocha. There's a nuttiness from the sherry, it's got similar flavours to a well aged oloroso as opposed to a younger expression. Hazelnut, cinnamon, clove, a slight sourness alongside the syrup from maraschino cherries (but without the sweetness). It's a dry style of dram with a fair whack of spice from the alcohol, but it has a good mouthfeel and long finish with coffee grinds and dry earth.
Nose (with water)
Reduction really opens up the nose, and now we're transported back to Jerez, standing over an old oloroso butt and taking in the aromas of the bodega. Lots of roasted nuts, chocolate, ginger and cinnamon appear now, but less dried fruits and berries.
Palate (with water)
Chocolate forward still, we're getting Nutella, and a slight meatiness following on that reminds us of venison with a red currant sauce. There's also a freshness which balances nicely with the richer flavours.
The sherry finish is super apparent on this Mortlach, and it works well with the hefty spirit. If you're into drier style of sherry maturations, this one will appeal to you. We were finding those deep, rich and nutty older oloroso notes on the palate, but lighter, juicier aromas on the nose. For us the alcohol felt a bit too hot but water helps to round this out. We enjoyed the dram and would have another.
Decadent Drinks Equinox & Solstice Mortlach 10yo
Distilled in 2012, this was matured initially in refill hogsheads before being matured in a 1st fill sherry butt for over two years. It was bottled at a slightly reduced 48.5%.
A rich nose, tobacco, charred meats, dark chocolate and spent coffee grounds. It's an intense nose that, even with the lower alcohol, still manages to challenge your senses. Giving it some air, we're finding muddled blackberries, musty warehouses and prunes. An interesting sherried profile that we don't often find, it's not particularly sweet, but earthy, meaty and nutty instead.
The palate begins with red currants, raisins, 95% cacao chocolate and slightly burnt hazelnuts. The mouthfeel is good, it's got some texture and the finish has good length showcasing the malty, chocolate flavours throughout. With air we're getting Italian cherries, red grapes, Christmas cake, brandy snaps, and a hint of pickle brine too.
Nose (with water)
Reduction brings out more berry notes, black and red. It's creamier as well, a little vanilla and overcooked biscuit. The meatiness has subsided somewhat, but the bold sherry aromas are still sticking around.
Palate (with water)
Water brings out blood orange, rhubarb, alongside dried leaves and freshly squeezed and zested lime. The mouthfeel has suffered a little, it's not as oily as before, but the dram feels a little fresher and lighter overall.
We're usually fans of sweeter sherried drams, but this Mortlach is a very interesting example of a drier style that we enjoyed. It's bold, brash and meaty, but still remains quite drinkable. For us it's one dram in an evening type of whisky, as our palates wouldn't be able to take much more afterwards. Good quality sherry bomb, but one for people who prefer a drier style of sherry maturation.
- 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.