Showing posts with label Cask Collection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cask Collection. Show all posts

Mortlach 1995 (A.D. Rattray) Review

“Like a Rolling Stone”

Whisky Review # 619

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Mortlach 1995 (A.D. Rattray Cask Collection)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 58.4%
Maturation: Bourbon Hogshead
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-100 (June 2017) 
Buying Advice: 😀  Positive. Interesting Malt with reasonable P/Q ratio.

Colour: Golden (Natural Colour)

Crisp and Fruity with Mineral, Grassy, Waxy and Spicy notes as well. The Alcohol is quite noticeable but that's no big surprise given the ABV of close to 60%. I find Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Vanilla, Grass, Straw, Earth, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Apricots, Orange Marmalade, Tinned Pineapple, Saw Dust, Wet Stone, Heather-Honey, Bee-Wax, Sugared Almonds, Stewed Apple, Dusty Road, Leather, Milk Chocolate, Sweet Licorice, Ginger, Pepper and a sprinkle of Fresh Mint. Perhaps the faintest hint of a piece of Bacon on a distant BBQ. Be sure to give this Mortlach enough time in the glass in order to reveal its Aromas.

Very strong delivery thanks to the high ABV. Mainly Sweet but with a few Bitter, Sour, Oaky, Earthy and Spicy notes for balance. I find Sweet Barley, Butterscotch, Caramel, Marzipan, Dried Fruit, Milk- and White Chocolate, Vanilla, Stewed Apples, Almonds, Dirty Road, Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, light Licorice, Orange Marmalade, Grapefruit, Sour Grapes or Grappa and hints of Leather and Raspberry.

Middle-Long, warming and Spicy. Sweet at first but quite Dry in the end with a slight Woody Bitterness. I find Toasted Barley, Sticky Toffee, Caramel, Stewed Apples, Marzipan/Almonds, Honey, Milk Chocolate, Toasted Oak, Grapefruit, Salted Almonds, Orange Marmalade, Lemon Zest, Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon and hints of Leather and Raspberry Jam. The Alcohol remains strong until the end.  

Drinking Advice

I added 3 drops of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol on the Nose. The Aromas remain the same but they become more accessible. The same goes for the Palate. Perhaps some additional Floral notes here. The Finish becomes shorter, more Mineral and with a Metallic note I could live without. Still, this Mortlach deserves a few drops of Water!

Rating: 85

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery, The Bottler and Today's Whisky:

The distillery was founded in 1823 by James Findlater. It changed hands various times before being bought by John Walker & Sons in 1923. The latter was purchased by Distillers Company Ltd that later became part of Diageo. Mortlach is located close to the centre of Dufftown. Most of the Spirit is used for the Johnnie Walker Blends but since 2014 the Malt core range was introduced that consists of the NAS Rare Old, the Duty Free version called Special Strength, the 18 Years and the 25 Years.

A.D. Rattray was founded in 1868 by Andrew Dewar Rattray. It suffered during the crisis of the early 1900's. It changed hands various times before returning to the family. Current owner is Tim Morrison, a fourth generation descendant of the founder who used to work for Morrison Bowmore Distillers. He launched the Cask Selection series in 2004.

The Spirit for today's Single Cask Whisky was distilled on the 19th of June 1995 and was bottled at Cask Strength on January 21, 2013.

🍷  The Spirit:

Mortlach is equipped with six stills of various sizes. Unlike in most distilleries, these stills operate separately, rather than in pairs. Cooling of the vapours takes place with worm tubs. The Lyne arms are pointed downwards to create a full and meaty Spirit, quite different from your usual Speyside profile. The water for the Whisky is sourced in the Conval Hills.

🌲  The Wood:

This Mortlach matured for 17 Years in a Bourbon Hogshead with Cask # 3426. Only 264 bottles were drawn from the cask.

Drinking Experience NeatGood


Quite different when compared to your average Speyside Single Malt. If Speyside is Flower Power, this Mortlach is Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. It's Edgy, almost Dirty sometimes and the high ABV seems to be spot on for this Malt. I would not recommend this Mortlach to beginning Whisky drinkers but for advanced Whisky fans this is a nice Malt to discuss on a Tasting session with some friends! It's not perfect and it's a bit untidy in places but it's certainly interesting and that's exactly what seems to be missing with lots of today's mainstream modern-cut Single Malts. I like it!

Jan van den Ende                                                                      June 21, 2017

Glenfiddich Select Cask Review

“Boring NAS Expression”

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Glenfiddich Select Cask (Cask Collection)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 40 %

Colour: Light Amber

Nose: Young, Malty, Fruity and Sweet with Barley Sugar, Nuts, Buttered Toast, Dried Fruits, Vanilla, Toffee, Hay, light Sherry, light Honey, Toasted Oak, Apple, Pear, Berries, Orange - and Lemon Zest, light Spices and a hint of Milky Way bars. Some Floral tones after a while. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. It's not bad but although it does show some Aromas, I find it quite boring.   

Palate: Light, Young and Sweet with Apple, Pear, Berries, Malt, Lemon Zest, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Hay, light Honey, Raisins, Pepper, Cinnamon, Oak and Nutmeg.

Finish: On the short side with Vanilla, Toffee, Buttered Toast, Nuts, Dried Fruits, Orange- and Lemon Zest, Berries, Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and a little Menthol.

The Glenfiddich Girls at the Reception in May 2014

I added a couple of drops of water and you get more Malt and Orchard Fruit on the Nose. It becomes Clean and Crisp, not unlike the 12 Years. But Palate and Finish do not accept the added Water very well. You can add some Water for Nosing purposes but better sip it Neat.

Rating: 81 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20.5

Glenfiddich in May 2014 during our Short Visit

General Remarks: The Glenfiddich (Gaelic for Valley of the Deer) Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant and is located in Dufftown. It's still owned by the Grant Family today and Glenfiddich is the world's best selling Single Malt. In 2013 the Distillery launched its first NAS Series. The "Cask Selection" consists of three Single Malts, all of them exclusively available in Global Travel Retail. They are the Select Cask, the Reserve Cask and the Vintage Cask. To create the Select Cask, the current Malt Master Brian Kinsman selected special casks (Ex-Bourbon, Ex-Sherry and Ex Red Wine) and married those casks in the famous Glenfiddich Solera Vat. The Select Cask costs around 50 US Dollars (2015) 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good 

Conclusion: You might argue that this Glenfiddich starts on the wrong foot. It's NAS and Travel Retail only. Not necessarily a guarantee for Top Notch Quality Single Malt. And indeed I have to admit that I'm not impressed with the Select Cask. When I make a comparison between the standard 12 Years and the Select Cask, I find the 12 Years Simple but also Crisp, Clean and Fruity. The Select Cask has the signature Pear as well but otherwise smells and tastes a bit young but already tired at the same time. It's not bad but awfully boring. I can not really recommend this. Better stay with the 12 Years!    

Jan van den Ende                                                             January 30, 2015