As a rule of thumb when I see independent bottlings of Mortlach, I pick them up. While this Signatory Vintage release, from the long-running “Un-Chillfiltered Collection,” is matured only in bourbon hogsheads, the 15 year age statement — and reasonable price — spurred me to lie down my Visa card.
This is a classic expression of Mortlach, immediately evoking its lightly funky, mossy nose — a little bit green, a little bit smoky, a pure expression of unadulterated malt.
As simple as the nose is, the palate is quite seductive and immersive. An initial layer of char leads into notes of sesame, marzipan, and lemon curd, showcasing a creamy and fruity body that tastes a lot like lemon cake with vanilla frosting. Chewy despite a restrained 46% abv, the fruit lingers into the finish, pouring on more nougat and opening the door for some floral character and a few grinds of black pepper to close things up. Considering Mortlach’s 16 year old distillery bottling is nearly double the price, you’ll hear no complaints from me.
A- / £55 (700ml) / glenfiddich.com