This Mortlach had been matured for 14 of its years in a an ex-bourbon hogshead before being re-casked into a 1st first fill ex-moscatel hogshead for a short finishing period. Sweet, Fruity & Mellow profile.
Nose: Very bakery-led with sponge cake, biscuits and cookie dough and freshly toasted bread. The sherry influence is rather background, but presents as raspberry pavlova, freshly-brewed coffee and raisins. The addition of water adds fruitiness with strawberry and cream (rather too early for Wimbledon), fresh mint leaves and light touches of cinnamon.
Taste: The arrival is much bolder than the nose suggests - it’s also much sweeter. Red berries (particularly strawberries) sit with chocolate digestive biscuits, spent coffee ground and vanilla pods. Chocolate sauce is livened with warming baking spices that grow in intensity – ginger and cinnamon. The back-palate is extremely wood focussed, offering dustiness, mouth-sucking dryness and a near astonishing level of astringency. Reduction tempers the tannins somewhat, but still struggles to contain the levels of wood that present here. Softer tinned fruits (some stone varieties introduced) are joined by toffee apples and oatcakes.
Finish: Medium with spiced berries and an unrestrained level of tannic dryness.
This Mortlach is a game of two halves, and rather similar to an England performance, a bright start is marred by a sloppy finish. The nose and arrival are packed full of lively sweet fruits and pleasant bakery aromas – but the cask has run amok here and results in a bitingly harsh back-palate and finish.
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