Speyside distillery Mortlach has unveiled three new whisky releases that will soon be available stateside: Mortlach 12-Year-Old Wee Witchie, Mortlach 16-Year-Old Distiller’s Dram, and Mortlach 20-Year-Old Cowie’s Blue Seal.
Even if you’ve never heard of Mortlach before, chances are you’ve had a chance at trying some of the whisky that comes out of the distillery — Mortlach whiskies are integral components in a number of different Johnnie Walker expressions.
Each of the new expressions utilizes the brand’s distinctive 2.81 distilling process. This process, which the brand calls “The Way,” employs six unique copper pot stills (including three wash and three spirit stills). The resulting product almost goes through triple distillation, thereby giving us the name 2.81. The practice was invented by Dr. Alexander Cowie (son of George Cowie Sr., the person responsible for Mortlach’s survival after the first 30 years as a distillery) in 1896 and has remained unchanged since its invention.
Each of these whiskies will be available nationwide.
Mortlach 12-Year-Old Wee Witchie
On the nose, Wee Witchie features toasted oak and fresh stone fruit notes. The whisky is medium to heavy in body and rich in oak, vanilla, and Crème Brûlée flavors that lead the palate into poached pear and caramelized orange. The finish is a soft blend of citrus and clove. This whisky was aged in a mix of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks.
Mortlach 12-Year-Old Wee Witchie is 43.4 percent alcohol by volume and will retail for around $50.
Mortlach 16-Year-Old Distiller’s Dram
Aged entirely in ex-sherry casks, the first thing you’ll notice is a rich perfume of stewed black and orchard fruits. Distiller’s Dram also has a hints of earthiness and spice on the nose. The body is a palate-coater and starts with baking spices and cocoa powder before notes of butterscotch and honey. The finish is long and sweet.
Mortlach 16-Year-Old Distiller’s Dram is 43.4 percent ABV and will retail for around $100.
Mortlach 20-Year-Old Cowie’s Blue Seal
Also aged entirely in ex-sherry casks, Cowie’s Blue Seal has sandalwood and other earthy elements initially on the nose. An oily palate follows with caramelized apples and dark berries that lead into chocolate malt balls and honey-dipped figs. The finish is long and dense, with dried fruit characteristics.
Mortlach 20-Year-Old Cowie’s Blue Seal is 43.4 percent ABV and will retail for around $200.
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