We’re leaving the UK today to return to Minnesota and my month of reviews of Speyside and Highland whiskies is also almost at an end. Here now is something you don’t see very often: a bourbon cask Mortlach. As you may know, Mortlach is generally associated with heavily sherried whisky. Its whisky also has a pronounced meaty quality, which results from their use of worm tubs for condensation during the distillation process—less copper contact means more sulphur in the spirit. I’ll be interested to see what that manifests as in a bourbon cask. Let’s see how it goes.
Mortlach 17, 1995 (49.1%: Dewar Rattray; bourbon hogsheasd 2437; from a purchased sample)
Nose: Quite acidic (lime) and salty, with a bit of oak in there as well. Get slightly herbal after a bit (dill?) and then a little malty/musky. With more time there’s a bit of cream but the oak gets louder as well. The citrus is muskier with water.
Palate: Fruity, malty, oaky, peppery. Oily texture. The lime intensifies with time. More bitter with water and there’s more pepper too.
Finish: Medium-long. The lime expands but it’s bitter zest mostly. As on the palate with water.
Comments: The intense lime zest in this made me want to dump some tonic water into my glass. Nothing at all like the standard Mortlach profile—and not particularly meaty. A pleasant summer malt but nothing very special.
Rating: 83 points.