Mortlach 1996 Cooper’s Choice

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Originally reviewed on Reddit on 01/03/16

Mortlach is a Speyside distillery well known for their full-bodied malt, which is usually heavily sherried. This independent bottling is not sherried, it comes from a first fill bourbon cask. This should be fun.

Mortlach is a not so well known outside of whisky anorak circles, and has only recently been released as a (very overpriced and somewhat rushed) distillery bottling by Diageo. But for those in the know it is very sought after and there are some absolutely phenomenal independent bottlings.

This one is bottled by The Vintage Malt Whisky Company under their Cooper’s Choice single cask range. Bought through a shared purchase by some local whisky buffs. A bottle sharing group is a really awesome way to get hold of some interesting bottles without breaking the bank.

Aged 19 years. 53.5%ABV. Matured in a Bourbon cask. No colour added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Apricot jam. Fruit leather. Honey. Woodspice. Vanilla. New pine boards. Caramel pudding. Bit of lemon zest. Macadamias.

Palate: More new cut pine. Followed by some rich leather and bold fruits, peach, apricot, pear. Quite spicy on the swallow.

Finish: Medium-long (was expecting a bit longer). Woodspice, leading into pepper. Some peach and apricot notes linger. Bitter wood.

Rating: Try before you buy

Global VFM: 3/5

Local VFM: N/A

This was quite different from the usual Mortlach profile and lacked a certain punch. It was still a beautifully fragrant and tasty whisky though, highly recommended if you like your first-fill bourbon casks. Just expect the unexpected here.

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