Mortlach 21 year old – Douglas Laing Director’s Cut series
Distilled September 1992 – Bottled December 2013
Sherry Butt 10143
Limited to 255 bottles
£145.00 from TheGreenWellyStop
Auburn with some red tints.
Take your breath away pungent wood spice initially. Heavily polished oak. Wood shavings. This is big boisterous stuff. Getting through the oak, we get buckets of dark fruits. Cherries, ripe plums, raisins. Loads of dark sugar, burnt, caramelised and instantly chewy. There’s some menthol now, and the cherry more prominent, and as my friend Tom has said on his review, Cherry Tunes (it’s a cough/throaty lozenge, it’s stuck in my mind and it’s now up my nose!). With a little more time and air there is some cream sherry notes rising up. It’s a complex, big and beautiful nose. Sherry monster? Yeah, sort of, but far more refined and interesting with the aged oak notes.
Instantly heart warming. Considering the strength the alcohol nip is minimal. The fruit is intense and thick as is the mouthfeel. There are dark cherries, spiced plums, some dark chocolate, more spicy dark fruits, I wouldn’t go as far as Christmas cake, but a heavily aged Christmas pudding overdosed on fruit and brandy. Luxuriously smooth, juicy and silky.
Long, Warm and cosy. Sweet rich and deep dark fruits linger. Dark chocolate morphs into drying oak.
I’m not convinced this one needs water at all, it’s so well flavoured undiluted, but I’ve put a small drop in what’s left of my dram. The nose is now more dusty oak focused, with less fruit on the front and more of that aged polished oak in a dusty library. The palate is a little more tart and cherry focused, with some tannins entering into the flavour. Finish is more mentholated, and another reminder of the cherry tunes lozenge. It’s still very excellent, but I would prefer the undiluted for the sheer unadulterated fruitiness and feel good factor.
This is quality sherried beauty. Refined with age, and not a massive bruiser of a sherry monster, but more of a big sherried fluffy beastie, which is just plain lovely to huddle up to. I’m so pleased to be getting a share of this excellent Mortlach, and am now thinking about a bottle for sometime later. Hmmmm, awesome stuff.
Massive thanks to Douglas Laing Co. for providing a sample.