Single malt whisky - tasting notes

21 Aug 2010

Mortlach 1998 (Whisky Shop Dufftown)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Mortlach

This Mortlach 1998 is the first bottling by The Whisky Shop Dufftown, run by Mike Lord. It’s a refill sherry hogshead selected from the Gordon & MacPhail stocks.

With 6 active distilleries (Mortlach being one of them, and the Glenfiddich / Balvenie / Kinivie group being the best known) in a town of merely 1200 people, Dufftown is said to be the whisky capital of Scotland.


Mortlach 1998 Whisky Shop DufftownMortlach 12 yo 1998 (59,1%, Gordon & MacPhail Exclusive for Whisky Shop Dufftown 2010,
cask #14438)

Nose: instead of the expected sherry notes, the first things I get are herbal tea and lots of mint and pine needles. In my opinion, Mortlach is often blemished by sulphury off-notes (not from bad sherry casks, but probably due to to a lack of copper contact during distillation and/or the usage of worm tubs), but this one is (almost) clean, with nice raisins and fruit marmalade. Burnt sugar and hints of bread crust. Water highlights red fruits. Mouth: again an unusually mentholated profile. On a second level there is strawberry jam and chocolate coated nuts. Well spiced. Rounder and fruitier with a few drops of water. Still rather herbal. Finish: quite long, peppery with a repetition of the herbal sherry theme.

Considering the fact that I’m not a big fan of Mortlach, this is definitely enjoyable and rather unique.

Score: 83/100

Mortlach 1998 (Whisky Shop Dufftown) 3 Ruben Luyten 2010-08-21

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  • Tony: I wonder if the rest of the cask is the TWE 1981 just released with no cask number (and a similar though not identical strength)...
  • john marrinan: That is true, but to all intents and purposes a score of 87 is the same as a score of 90. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the maniacs scored it the
  • WhiskyNotes: It's not so much a matter of trusting a score as it is a matter of being able to relate to it.

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1734 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.