Nose : Reserved and discreet, first showing a ripe fruity tang of red plum, peach and blackberry (more obvious with a little water). A dryer note in the smooth, nutty layer underneath reveals complexity and depth. In time there’s the baked sweetness of a buttery Madeira cake or chocolate biscuits. This sweetness becomes more toffee–like then gradually more savoury, with heady floral notes and maybe just the slightest hint of smoke. The oak is restrained and natural, recalling a dry, sunny autumn day in the woods.
Taste : A complex and bold Mortlach with the exquisite balance of sweetness and dryness for which the distillery is renowned. A superbly structured and well balanced whisky in which stylish fruit and floral notes on the nose introduce a rich, complex, energetic palate and a pleasantly drying finish.
Palate : Stunning. Sweet, tongue-coating and fiery, then chewy on the mid-palate; gingery and tangy now too, ranging dense orchard fruits alongside a light gaminess. Growing sweeter, the flavours move from red fruit to liquorice to toffee, then sweet roast meat, set off by a rich, supple and muscular structure. Becoming dryer, with appealing hints of orange oil, it’s still all beautifully pervasive and comforting. Adding just a little water enlivens things without taking away the pleasing texture.