Mortlach 1987 AD

"Heavy wood influence combined with stewed fruits, spices and oils, a solid Mortlach from Adelphi"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Mortlach is one of the most admired distilleries among whiskey aficionados, that is the independent bottled versions. The renewed range of distillery bottlings in general have been considered as a significant improvement, however, recently the quality of the new bottlings seem to have gone down according to some commentaries. Some time ago, I got the opportunity to receive some samples of multiple bottling of the renowned independent bottler Adelphi, who recently started to released their own (almost) single malts. Previously I  already reviewed the 1993, praised by the unfortunately closed ScotchWhisky.com with 95 points, but did not fare so well with my taste buds due to an overt wood influence (see review here). Today, we are gonna try a 27-year-old Mortlach release from Adelphi distilled in 1987 (another 1987 and 1980 will follow soon).

Nose

Instantly my nose is flooded with a heavy scent of spicy wood that quickly turns into stewed, mostly tropical, fruits. Think of mango, pineapple and apples, mixed with vanilla, cardamon and cinnamon. There some hints bread, but it stay relatively closed. A few drops of water then. Now I also get more of the typical Mortlach meatiness, mango peel, apricot kernels that develop into more earthy notes.

Taste

A slight alcohol burn for starters, before the spicy fruits appear, even spicer then the nose. The wood has almost crushed the fruits, but they just survived, and they are wonderful. Deep notes of mango, banana and oranges mingle with pepper, cardamon, and oils. Water brings out more oils, maybe even a hint of olives and plain bread. It brings a reasonably long oily aftertaste.

Overall

This Mortlach was again heavy on the wood influence, but here the fruits and oils provided a better balance compared to the 1993. I can imagine me drinking this after a heavy meal, preferably stew, on a winter’s evening before the wood fire.

What others say

Whiskybase: 89.31 (57 votes) * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 85/100 * @WhiskySaga: 91/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
75%
Sweet <-> Spicy
60%
  • Tropical fruits
  • Wood spices
  • Oily
Nose 86.5%
Taste 86.5%
Balance 86%
Depth 87%
Finish 86%
Score