Whisky Review – Mortlach 22 year old – Platinum Old and Rare (Hunter Laing)

Mortlach 22 year old – Platinum Old and Rare (Hunter Laing)
56.8% ABV
Non-Chill Filtered
No added colouring
£335.00 from The Whisky Shop
  
Only 120 bottles came out of the sherry butt used to mature this 22 year old Mortlach. It’s quite an exclusive whisky, and the price reflects this.  More importantly how is the quality. Let’s check it out. 
Nose.
Intense intense intense. Meaty and complex. Old dusty museums. Polished mahogany. There is some gunpowder from a freshly fired shotgun (dissipates in minutes). Rum infused fruitcake. Sherry soaked grapes. Beef jerky. Dusty libraries. Sticky glacé cherries. Cloves. Sweet toffee. Soft caramel. It’s an awesome nose, shows some good ageing while being a massive sherry bruiser. Could sniff this for a millennia. 
Palate.
Juicy arrival. Really juicy. Lots of cherry juice. Grape. Sherry. A tingle of alcohol later and we get more layers of fruitiness, fruitcake, some nuts, more raisins becoming a little drier with touches of effervescence. 
Finish.
Medium to long length. Fruitcake and cherries dissolves quite quickly and leaves some lovely juicy old sherry oak behind, slowly drying out, some spicy light meaty Mortlach signature remains for a good while. 
Adding water.
Adding only a few drops to this older malt. Oh this nose is glorious. With a drop of water (not too much) we have some lovely integration. Lots of old polished oak and fruity cakey sherry gloriousness. The depth of the aromas is what comes of a whisky of this age and is what you pay for. The aromas literally swim gently around your senses. Amazing experience. The palate has faired just as well, with an immensely deep and fruity experience. Less spicy than the undiluted variant. This cherry laden alcohol infused fruitcake is stunningly rich and moreish. The finish remains fruity with reduced spice.
Conclusion. 
What an amazing whisky experience. It really is a lovely, old aged sherry bomb of a whisky. The only quibble I have is the price. It is quite the expensive whisky, considering there was a 21 year old Mortlach on the Douglas Laing Director’s cut range for around £140 a year or so back, which I also loved immensely. If you can afford this, and you like big, brash, old sherry beasties then it does come recommended. 


Thanks to the W Club for providing a sample as part of their Tasting Club. 

Whisky Review – The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso

The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso
60.7% ABV
Non-Chill Filtered
No added colouring
£54.00 from The Whisky Shop
  
The Glenlivet Nadurra has been a favourite of mine and so many other enjoyer of quality whisky it was very exciting to hear that Glenlivet was coming out with a cask strength Oloroso sherry matured version.  This time no age statement (the bourbon cask Nadura is 16 years old).  Being a fan of sherry monsters I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, so now I have the chance and here we go!
Nose.
Immediately chocolate toffee on first nose.  Thick intense toffee, thornton’s special level of toffee. Second whiff and more of the trademark Oloroso nuttiness is coming through, the high level of alcohol can also be experienced if your nose gets too close, so nasal beware. Third whiff and we’re back to the chocolate shop confectionary. Honey. Toffee. Honeycomb. Caramel. Roasted nuts and a touch of spirit in the background. With time in the glass we get a more balance between the toffee chocolate and some newly found fruit, raisins, plump with alcohol, fruitcake, orange rind, cloves and some overripe cherries. Fattening and awesome. 
Palate.
Thick arrival of dark fruits, nuts and chocolate. The mouthfeel is dense and chewy. After the alcohol nip subsides, we have a drier, nut enriched malt. Lots of nuts (and nut skin/shell), dusty oak and cocoa. The palate is quite hot undiluted, so I think will take water well. Some dark honey and treacle toffee. 
Finish.
A medium to long length finish. Bitter toffee and chocolate, with lots of dry nuttiness. 
Adding water.
Adding several dollops. The nose is now more integrated, with a balance of fruits, chocolate and nuts all together in harmony. Without the intense alcohol nip, the palate now has more identifiable layers of fruit, we have much more cherry and touches of menthol with the spicier cloves, touches of vanilla pod in the fruitcake, with the intense nuttiness ever present. Immensely chewy. The finish is spicy, nutty and has some drying fruits with touches of fresh menthol. 
Conclusion. 
A lovely sherry monster of a dram this one.  When comparing with a bottle of A’bunadh I have opened I would say the Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso is nuttier, and has slightly more chocolate presence. It is a lovely thick dram, which would see you very proud through chilly evenings in front of a roaring fire. No hesitation to buy one of these for the autumn months. 


Thanks to the W Club for providing a sample as part of their Tasting Club. 

Whisky Review – Glen Garioch 21 year old (Lady of the Glen)

Glen Garioch 21 year old (Lady of the Glen)
56.4% ABV
Non-Chill Filtered
No added colouring
Ex-Bourbon barrel matured
£84.18 from Lady of the Glen
  
There was only 250 bottles to leave this ex bourbon cask filled with Glen Garioch spirit for 21 years. And only around 30 bottles are available from Lady of the Glen. If you’re thinking about buying this bottle then act quickly!
Nose.
Lemon citrus malt is the first aroma that hits me shortly after pouring. Some gentle, dusty oak. Fresh crisp green apples. A little time and it is a lot of apples, with some soft melon. Now more age is coming through with some varnished oak. Acetone. And pear drops. With every return to sniff I’m noticing something slightly different, it is a very changeable and therefore explorable nose.  Now we have more lemon, sweet shops, sherbert fountains and touches of liquorice root. Now it’s more liquorice and some herbal elements. Some pine tree and fresh grass. Fascinating stuff.  Back to fruit and pears again, and a touch lavender. 
Palate.
Arrival is sweet and malty, going into some alcohol nip, subsiding quickly to reveal layers of gentle fruit juices (lemon, apple, pear), biscuity barley, creamy vanilla, oak and a touch of liquorice. 
Finish.
Sweetly layered long finish. Sweet liquorice, vanilla, apple, custard. Fading out with some pastry and oats. 
Adding water.
Adding only a few drops due to its age. The nose is now surprisingly fresh and crisp. Lots of apple and citrus. The palate, now without the alcohol intervention has a seamless arrival to development. Layers of creamy custardy malt, intertwined with fresh fruits, peppercorn and touches of oak. The finish is long, creamy and relaxing, with added vanilla fudginess. 
Conclusion. 
This is quite the lovely, traditional whisky. Tonnes of fruit and malt, one to explore carefully, with respect and lots of time.  This is a whisky to rest away a long tiring day with.
Much thanks to Lady of the Glen for the review sample. 

 

Whisky Review – Arran 18 year old

Arran 18 year old
46% ABV
Non-Chill Filtered
No added colouring
£70.65 from Master of Malt
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The trilogy is now complete. After the 16 and 17 year old’s sure enough, here is the 18 year old. I have high hopes for this one, I’ve loved the build up. The 17 is reviewed here. Now let’s get on with the 18.
Nose.
Thick caramel infused biscuity malt greets on first sniff after pouring. Quickly changing to Gingerbread. Soaked raisins and more autumnal fruits follow forward after a few minutes in the glass. Some sweet blackcurrant jam. A little pepper. Touches of cherry and sweet fruitcake. With a little more settling down time we have even more intensive fruit, and a little dusting of age. Beautifully complex, fruity and mouth watering nose. 
Palate.
The arrival is quite spicy and vibrant, some raw ginger and pepper with a touch of chilli heat. This soon calms into a long development, with waves of vanilla, sponge cake, fruity berry jams, dry fruits, creamy custard notes and a thick texture. This is one to keep in the mouth for a good while as it really evolves, with the spices coming to and fro and the fruit and cream getting thicker and more relaxed with each wave. Lush.
Finish.
Spicy dry ginger and malty biscuit cakes! Medium to long length. Fruit and spice gradually subsides with a creamy sideline. Gentle and refined. 
Adding water.
Just a minuscule drop added as this is quite the experience without water. The nose has lost a lot of the spice now and the buttery, creamy nature is coming forward on the nose immediately. The palate reflects this, less bite and more smooth, creamy goodness. The finish is slightly shortened and again creamy malt is the main theme.  Personally I like this one without water to give some variation and a little more interesting complexity. If you find this a little spicy though a drop or two will calm it down. 
Conclusion. 
Well,  good whisky is worth the wait, and this is no exception. A fantastically well constructed, complex, compelling, intriguing and fulfilling dram.  I’m loving every drop. Happy to have already obtained some for later enjoyment and splitting a bottle with friends. You can’t go wrong.  Top stuff, traditionally made and the quality and care of attention shines through. 
Much thanks to Arran for the review sample.