Whisky Advocate

Review: Mortlach 16 year old

September 13th, 2011

Mortlach 16 year old, 43%, £41

With worm tubs and a fiendishly complex partial-triple distillation, Mortlach has adhered to an old style of making whisky — and older, richer, darker flavors. Big and bold, it is at its best in ex-sherry casks. The nose is meaty (think gravy/beef stock) with fig, raisin, and molasses. In the mouth it’s concentrated, with good grip and a savory sweetness. A cult malt. —Dave Broom(Not currently available in the U.S.)

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 91

26 Responses to “Review: Mortlach 16 year old”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    That’s a Flora & Fauna bottling, right? Are those even widely available in Europe these days?

    • John Hansell says:

      I think Dave highlighted this as a particularly noteworthy malt, not a review of a new whiskey. People have asked us to review some of the classics, and not just new releases. We’re trying to be accommodating.

    • This bottling is widely available in Europe (for example, from The Whisky Exchange).

      • Red_Arremer says:

        Right, of course. Living in Massachusetts, where it’s criminal to order liquor online, it’s easy to forget how a long dead bottling like this Mortlach is still widely available to most of the world.

        Incidentally, it’s an excellent idea to review old expressions, which were limited or are no longer being produced. However, on a blog for a publication like MA (as opposed to, say, whiskyfun), this fact should be noted along with regional availability.

        Keep up the good work.

  2. dbk says:

    I adore this whisky. I was lucky enough to find a bottle while traveling in the UK. I only wish we could find it in North America, too.

  3. bj reed says:

    The Mortlach’s I have purchased (Signatory 2006, D&M 2005 and Rare Malts 1994) have all be terrific – This is a very under appreciated distillery in my view.

    • DavidG says:

      Binny’s routinely gets an exclusive Signatory bottling – cask strength, tasty and affordable. mortlach is definitely a distillery worth seeking out.

    • I don’t really see this. I don’t know any malt whisky lover who regards Mortlach as second rate.

      • Red_Arremer says:

        Definitely a very revered distillery, Oliver– But one has to get into whisky to a certain degree before one comes in contact with its prestige.

  4. Rick H says:

    I spoke to the gentlemen about the F&F bottlings and they said while it is unlikely that all F&F bottlings will be available at once like before, many of the bottlings will be re-bottled when stocks run low and demand stays consistent.

    So that’s good news!

    And yes, I have a bottle of this, and it’s heaven in the glass.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      That is great news Rick– I had been told something else, but that was years ago. Now if they’d only send some of those across the lake…

  5. Chris says:

    Oh God I need to go to Europe. The only Mortlach I’ve had is the G&M 15, which is incredible. One of my favorite single malts for sure. And although here in Washington I could order this from TWE with shipping the way it is, it might almost be cheaper to fly to Europe and pick up a few bottles. A question for those lucky people who have tasted a lot of the F&F bottlings, where does the Mortlach rank among them?

  6. lawschooldrunk says:

    My F&F Mortlach made it through customs 3 years ago. This one is great but I found the taste subtly developed more sulfur as the whisky oxidized.

  7. John Hansell says:

    I’ve always been a big fan of Morlach. I wish we would see more owner-bottled expressions here in the U.S.

  8. mongo says:

    this is a very good whisky, but i would stop well short of calling it great. a 91 point rating will likely lead to disappointment among people expecting an outstanding malt.

    are there very many owner-bottled mortlachs available anywhere? this is one of only two or three on the whisky exchange’s mortlach listings that are distillery bottled.

    • Chris says:

      Unfortunately, it pretty much all goes into Johnnie Walker Black (and other blends). The flavor is so rich and distinctive that it’s really in demand for blends

      • Red_Arremer says:

        They ought to put in another still of the same design and put a little more of the stuff out as single malt.

        • Danny Maguire says:

          That’s one of the reasons they built the Roseisle plant. They can change the still heads there so produce any style of whisky. It should leave them more for bottling as singles.

  9. Peter Benkoczki says:

    My favourite Mortlach is a 18 yo cask strength bottling of Wilson & Morgan. I has some amazing sweet fire dose. :)

  10. Danny Maguire says:

    I’m surprised that Dave says that it’s £41, the last time I saw it in a shop it was a lot more.

    • mongo says:

      £39.75 at the whisky exchange right now….

      by the way, did some language in the original review change after it was posted?

      • Andre says:

        Actually, 33.13 excluding VAT…but I would agree with some previous comments, nice whisky, but not great in my opinion. Best Mortlach for me is the 32 yo distilled in 1971, and this does not come close to it !

        • mongo says:

          well, it’s not fair to look at the ex. vat price, as anyone who escapes paying the vat will have to pay shipping.

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