My first review of 2016 is the Mortlach Rare Old - a whisky which caused a bit of a stir when it launched in 2014.
Why? Well, it carries no age statement and was splashed into stingy - but visually impressive - 50cl bottles. I also doubt whether it's rare or old.
It was, I assume, rebranded to appeal to the luxury end of the whisky market. Now I'm not one to turn my nose up at any whisky, but at around £45, it wasn't a dram that particularly appealed to me.
However, in my 2015 whisky advent calendar, a 3cl sample popped out and I was quite impressed with what I experienced - but not blown away enough to splash the cash - although, if I see it on offer...
Nose: Nuts dipped in honey and golden syrup. Victoria sponge, complete with strawberry jam filling, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dusting of fine icing sugar. Sawdust notes begin to come through after several minutes, along with sultanas and red apples. Baked lemons and fudge. Kinda reminds me of some of the Longmorns I've tried - which is a very good thing.
Palate: Sweet arrival with a dab of light liquorice and cinnamon. More golden syrup and honey. Hint of citrus.
Finish: Loads and loads of vanilla, sugar-coated shortbread, white pepper and it's very creamy. Little bit of cinnamon.