Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Carn Mor: Mortlach 15 - 46%

I had the pleasure of attending the Glasgow Whisky Festival last weekend, where I met up with a whole bunch of lovely people and sampled a staggering number of malts in the process. It was quite an afternoon, but although I have a wee list of drams I sampled (hastily typed on my phone) I haven't knocked it into shape yet - or quite managed to figure out some of the gobbledygook which, at the time, seemed like the most intricate tasting notes anyone could ever write.
    So rather than faff about trying to decipher the hieroglyphics - I'm tired and in need of coffee - I thought I would get a bit down about this rather lovely Mortlach I've been enjoying instead.
    Bottled by the chaps at Carn Mor - a Perthshire-based independent bottler - this 15-year-old beauty has been matured in a hogshead, distilled in 1998, bottled in 2014 and is one of 517 bottles from two casks. It is, as you might expect, non-chill filtered, has no added colouring, and bottled at a thoroughly respectable 46%. On with the show!

Nose: Zingy hard-boiled sherbet lemons, marzipan, a tin of icing sugar-dusted Turkish Delight, grated nutmeg and a few drops of lime juice. The barley note that anchors everything is crystal clear, while I also get the merest whiff of rosemary coming through. Strangely, a few drops of water seem to bring out a hint of washing up liquid. At first I thought I hadn't rinsed my Glencairn properly, but this soapy note has remained throughout the bottle.

Palate: Thick and syrupy in the mouth and there's a delicious light fruity character which shines through. Add to that baked lemons covered in golden caster sugar, apricot jam, a small shake of white pepper and a twist of orange peel, and you have a rather interesting dram. The woody cask influence has also started to creep in, which is quite noticeable after 10-15 minutes in the glass.

Finish: There's quite a lot of vanilla here and it’s dry, oaky and sweet. There's also a vegetal note kicking about and as the bottle has gone down, I finally managed to put my finger on exactly what it was. Chicory. Yes, that bitter, peppery characteristic is definitely here, but it’s really not unpleasant.

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