Monday, April 14, 2008

Have just tried ... Mortlach 1988 cask strength from Signatory Vintage

mortlach 1988 cask strength from signatoryMortlach is a distillery that is found in the town of Dufftown in Speyside. It is owned by multi national drinks company Diageo and produces whisky that primarily goes into the Johnnie Walker blends. As a result of this, releases from the distillery under it's own name are reasonably hard to find. This particular one is from the 'cask strength' range by Signatory Vintage, who are one of the main independent bottling companies in Scotland. Independent bottlings are important in the cases of distilleries such as Mortlach, because they make whisky available to the consumer that may have been allocated elsewhere. The nose smells very promising, being light and buttery with hints of vanilla, dried fruits (raisins, orange peel and prunes) and some floral notes (heather or honeysuckle, I couldn't decide). However, on tasting this blows your mouth away. With a very high alcohol level of 59.6%, this mugs your taste buds and lips and burns them, meaning that it is hard to taste anything through the assault. I added some water to lower the alcohol level and the experience became instantly more pleasant. It becomes buttery with those dried fruits that were detected on the nose (a classic sign that it has been matured in a sherry cask), with added flavours of spices (like nutmeg and cinnamon) and caramel. The whisky feels creamy in your mouth but I found the finish was too dry for my taste. Overall, it was a good whisky but it left me a little disappointed. This is a limited bottling and retails at around £55-60.

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