Mortlach: The best kept secret in Scotch ūü§ę at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

Discover the best kept secret in Scotch: The Mortlach Range

Commonly referred to as ‘The Beast of Dufftown’, Mortlach Distillery was founded in 1823 in the heart of the Speyside, on a site previously occupied by illicit stills. Their signature 2.81 times distillation process, referred to simply as ‘The Way’, sounds a tad confusing but makes for a distinctive, bold spirit full of ‘meaty’ and ‘muscular’ character and they achieve this unique quality of spirit using six stills in a variety of shapes and sizes.

When it comes to maturation, American and European sherry casks pair perfectly with Mortlach’s robust spirit adding fruity and spicy complexity. The core range is bottled at 43.4% ABV which was the original bottling strength that their forebearers bottled Mortlach at as detailed in accounts from the early 1800s.

A spirit well known for its integral contribution to the illustrious Johnnie Walker blend, we are now lucky enough to enjoy Mortlach as a single malt in this fantastic range. Read on to explore the three expressions…

This 12-year-old single malt, dubbed ‘The Wee Witchie’, is an ode to Mortlach’s smallest yet most essential still which adds a characteristic to the spirit incomparable to anything else.

Matured in American and European oak ex-bourbon and sherry casks the nose begins with a light spice, dried fruits and rich toffee, giving way to a meaty palate of demerara sugar, dark chocolate, cherry jam and a wisp of tobacco.

Mortlach 12 Year Old
The Wee Witchie


Dubbed the ‘Distiller’s Dram’, this¬†16-year-old Mortlach is an ode to the famous first bottling of this expression back in 1992.¬†Maturation is¬†exclusively in sherry casks to impart rich, fruity, and fragrant notes atop the bold complexity of Mortlach’s new make spirit.

On the nose begins a punch of earthy stewed dark fruits and warm baking spices. The palate is robust and coats the mouth with sweet dried apricots, honey and leathery spice with savoury elements and a lingering intensity to finish.


Mortlach 16 Year Old
Distiller’s Dram


The 20-year-old Mortlach¬†is the oldest in the current core range and is named ‘Cowie’s Blue Seal’ in tribute to one of the very first bottlings¬†dating back to 1909. Alexander Cowie who took ownership from his father George¬†in these early days of the distillery was a¬†pioneer¬†in advancing production at Mortlach and creating the¬†legendary spirit we know today.

Matured exclusively in sherry casks this single malt is rich and palate clinging, with aromas of dried fruits, leather, and cedarwood. The palate is pleasantly oily with barbecue pork crackling, blackberries and cocoa nibs, and surprising brightness of citrus zing. A deep and complex finish ends with dark chocolate raisins and gentle liquorice.

Mortlach 20 Year Old
Cowie’s Blue Seal


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