Gordon & MacPhail is celebrating the 50th birthday of the Connoisseurs Choice with the release of 37 new bottlings from 23 different distilleries.
For the occasion the Connoisseurs Choice range is ‘enhanced’ with a series of single malts aged 30 years and above, which come in a bulkier version of the new bottle, presented in a wooden presentation box. From seven initial bottlings we’re now trying the Mortlach 1987, a 31 year-old bottled from a refill sherry hogshead.
If this is refill, then how long was the original whisky inside, two weeks?
Mortlach 31 yo 1987 (54%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 2018, refill sherry hogshead #425, 200 btl.)
Nose: big, fat, dry sherry. Lots of oranges, thuja wood, blackberry jam. Also a light acidity of raspberry. Smoked ham. Some wood smoke hints and gentle gunpowder but not at all dirty. Lovely dusty notes too (old books, tobacco). Chocolate. Love it.
Mouth: dark, dark. this is where the full-bodied character of Mortlach comes out. Pure chocolate, pipe tobacco, burnt bread, raisins, oak char and wood smoke. Coffee beans. Nuts. A little water helps to make it more accessible – this is a beast.
Finish: very long and rather dry, on walnuts and black tea.
Hugely sherried, with roasted notes and char, but also a fruity acidity that keeps it in check. A powerhouse. Quite expensive but recommended. It hasn’t shown up yet in the usual shops, keep your eyes peeled…