A big, friendly and warming special strength Mortlach, best enjoyed straight, that is at once complex and delicious.
"The Special Strength is a more grown up whisky and packs a real punch. (...) the result is a complex and feisty whisky that is definitely worth checking out when traveling through an airport."www.whiskyforeveryone.com, 2014
This expression brings previously hidden nuances of flavour to the fore, revealing the sweet traits of American oak and delicate tropical fruit from the complex character of Mortlach, best enjoyed straight.
A serious, strong Speyside.
Clear, bright amber. Moderate beading.
An instant full-bodied aroma that somehow successfully mixes sweet pudding with a savoury aroma like that of roasting meat.
Medium to light bodied, smooth in the mouth.
Beginning with bitter chocolate and black cherry fruit then sweet, honeyed and smooth; rounded and cooling, with light eucalyptus.
Smooth, violet-edged dark-chocolate-laced tannins to the fore, and behind this a dry char that leaves the palate sweet and faintly smoky, as with a treacle tart.
Strength: 51% ABV
Place of Origin: Dufftown
in brief… A big, friendly and warming special strength Mortlach, best enjoyed straight, that is at once complex and delicious.
in a sentence… Very grown up, with a complicated yet harmonious mix of young vanilla and mature oak underscored by roasted aromatics and a long and deeply affecting finish.
Confident, complex and strong, with an instant full bodied aroma that somehow successfully mixes sweet, ripe red apples and moist fruit cake or plum pudding with a savoury aroma like that of roasting meat. As the nose opens further there’s more sweetness, as if rich vanilla cream was being poured over a trio of ice creams: rich rum-and-raisin (plenty of alcohol), chocolate and vanilla. In time there are more drying scents, now of roasting coffee beans, christmas pudding mix, dried raspberry, allspice and dry-roasted coriander seed.
Full blooded with great impact, beginning with bitter chocolate and black cherry fruit then sweet, honeyed and smooth; rounded and cooling, with light eucalyptus. After this more assertive and warming, growing earthier and drying to reveal a fine savoury bite reminiscent of charred pepper steak, as the distillery character rises to the challenge of the strength. Late notes suggest oak shavings in a furniture restorer’s workroom.
Long, highly pervasive and surprisingly sweet with smooth, violet-edged dark-chocolate-laced tannins to the fore, and behind this a dry char that leaves the palate sweet and just faintly smoky, as with a treacle tart. Splendidly warming and comforting, with late orange zest.
"The sceptic in me would look at this release as a bit of a cash cow, but in total fairness, this is a very different whisky to the Rare Old, despite sharing its DNA. The extra strength gives it a fundamentally different personality altogether and one which I very much enjoyed. A whisky that will keep delivering in many different ways, whenever you go back to it."
"This is Rare Old at higher strength for folks who haunt Travel Retail outlets. The upping of strength also changes the dynamic, making things sweeter with mushed berries and Seville orange, but also deeper, with more overt meatiness, stewed tea, and the same varnished note. Dense, thick, stewed orchard fruits are on the palate alongside some acetone and, with water, burning rosemary and dry licorice."
Dave Broom, 2014, Whisky Advocate Summer 2014, p.121
"The nose is smooth and juicy with the traditional Mortlach beefiness, along with soft cinnamon, honey, dried apricots, and hints of coconut, vanilla, peaches, and apples. The taste is thick, oily, and intensely spicy with cinnamon, red apples, vanilla, coconut, and peach notes in addition to the usual Mortlach brothiness. The finish is long, spicy, and rich with fading cinnamon, coconut, and baked peaches and apples. Add a few drops of water to increase the complexity, and a few more to bring out floral and spearmint notes. Outstanding! 95 points"
www.whiskycast.com, November 2013