Showing posts with label Mortlach 1994 (Gordon & MacPhail). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mortlach 1994 (Gordon & MacPhail). Show all posts

Mortlach 1994 (Gordon & MacPhail)

”Close To Perfection”

Whisky Review # 897

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Mortlach 1994 - Distilled: 31-08-1994
Bottled By: Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin on 18-04-2017
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Whisky - Cask # 8192
Age: 22 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 54.2% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: 1st Fill Sherry Butt
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 250-450 (December 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍 It's expensive but it's worth the money!
Buying Advice: 😋 The best sherried Speysider I've tasted so far!


Mahogany (Natural Color)


Nice and dense Sherry with a very mild Sulphur note that actually enhances the Aroma profile. The Alcohol is perfectly integrated. The Nose is basically Sweet with a few Sour notes for balance. No Bitterness whatsoever. Good Cask Management. The Nose is driven by Caramel, Dark Red Fruit and Spices. This is a well-made Sherried Speysider with a near perfect balance on the Nose. I can smell this for hours. Great Stuff!

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Fruit like Plums, Blueberries and Prunes, Candied Citrus Peel (Orange and Lemon), Roasted Coffee, Dusty Warehouse, Dried Herbs, Oak, Tobacco, Nutmeg and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Brown Sugar, Honey, Sweet Apple, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Straw, Dark Chocolate, Buttered Pastry, Walnuts, Cinnamon, Pepper and Polished Leather Upholstery. Only a hint of the characteristic Mortlach "Meat".
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This is delicious. The Oak and Alcohol are a bit more noticeable at this point but they just add to the amazing Flavor profile. Mostly Sweet and Sour notes but with a delicate Bitterness that makes my day. Love it! As on the Nose, Toffee/Caramel, Dark Red Fruit, Herbs and Spices lead the way!

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Dark Red Fruit like Blueberries, Cherries & Plums, Dark Chocolate, Roasted Coffee, Dried Herbs, Oak, Dusty Warehouse and Spices like Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Brown Sugar, Sulphur, Mixed Nuts (Walnuts, Hazelnuts), Marzipan, Sweet Apple, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Dusty Road, Polished Leather Upholstery, Orange Peel, Tobacco and Menthol.


Middle-Long/Long. Mostly Sweet. A few Sour Notes & a delicate Bitterness towards the end create a nice balance. Good cask and near perfect maturation. The Alcohol is slightly noticeable at this point but I don't feel like adding Water. I find Toasted Barley, Buttered Pastry, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Dark Red Fruit like Blueberries, Raspberries and Plums, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Honey, Dried Herbs, Dark Chocolate, Roasted Coffee, Hazelnuts, Orange Peel, Oak, Menthol, Polished Leather Upholstery, Tobacco and Spices like Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves and Cardamom. There's an Earthy feel to this Finish.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to develop the Distillery character while at the same time maintaining the Sherry cask influence. You will also get more Belgian Chocolate this way. You can certainly experiment with a little Water here. It's very good either way although I prefer it without Water!

Rating: 91

Nose: 23.5 - Taste: 23 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22.5

Drinking Experience: Excellent


Mortlach was founded in 1823 by James Findlater and is located in Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire. It is owned by Diageo. The distillery has a cult status mainly because of the 16 Years Flora & Fauna. This expression was discontinued in 2014 however and replaced by a new range that consisted of the Rare Old, Special Strength, 18 Years & 25 years. All four were mainly matured in Ex-Bourbon Barrels and were launched in 50 cl bottles at rather high prices. This move was not appreciated by the fans and in 2018 Diageo launched a new core range that consists of the 12 Year old Wee Witchie, the 16 Year old Distiller's Dram  and the 20 Year old Cowie's Blue Seal.

It's been a while since I had such a good Single Malt! I always look for balance in a good Whisky and you will find it here in abundance. Sherried Speysiders can easily become Sherry-bombs and I'm not too fond of those. But the delicate interaction between Sherry cask and spirit here takes my breath away. This is excellent cask management and I can safely say that Gordon & MacPhail is one of my favorite Independent Bottlers. A 22-Year old Mortlach can't be cheap these days but in this case it's worth the money. I would love to have a few bottles of this in my cabinet. Unfortunately I only had a sample but it's so good that it goes right to the second place in my All Time Top Whisky list. If you find it and can afford it go for it! 


Jan van den Ende                                                                  December 16, 2020