The 2021 Special Releases also include a 13 year old Beast of Dufftown. Mortlach matured in virgin oak casks and refill American oak. The wolf on the packaging with the golden M logo… this is probably the most beautiful label this year.
Mortlach 13 yo 2007 (55,9%, OB Special Releases 2021, ex-virgin and refill American oak)
Nose: not the typical Mortlach meaty character, it’s less weighty and quite fresh. Instead it’s leafy and lightly heathery, with pears, gooseberries and rhubarb. Also wet gravel and porridge. Polished wood. Hints of suede as well. Unexpected, but really fine.
Mouth: chewy texture but really punchy, on white pepper, more chalk and raw grains, hints of grapefruit, lime and gooseberries. A bit of vanilla, apples and dried Mediterranean herbs. Towards the finish a clear meaty, savoury touch comes out.
Finish: quite long, gingery and leafy with spicy (virgin) oak and a chalky dryness.
A Mortlach with some Highlands austerity and less of the meaty notes. Is it me or is Diageo trying to showcase the lighter, fruitier, fresher side of Mortlach lately? Still available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance, and plenty of local retailers.