Review No.145. Mortlach Rare Old

Another Diageo malt yet again.  The malt produced by Mortlach is used in the Johnnie Walker range, in particular the Black Label.  The brand is marketed as a high end malt and they have recently redesigned their range which consists of a 12, 16 and 20 year old.  They have been accused and still are accused of over pricing their range.  Again, like with Cragganmore, the production process for Mortlach is geared to producing a rich and heavy malt which is often to referred as ‘meat’.  This Rare Old bottling is still available and is bottled in a 50cl size bottle and priced at £40.


Whisky: Mortlach Rare Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43.4%

Nose: Notes of spice, cinnamon, cherry, floral, vanilla, oak, leather

Taste: Alcohol burn, candy sweetness, roasted nuts

Finish: Dull bitterness

Score: 2.25

Summary: There is a note of alcohol heat that lingers throughout this making it quite difficult for me to pick much up.  My palate may have been off when I sampled this but I just could not get much out of it. The nose is promising with a nice mixture of spice, vanilla and floral notes with a hint of leather and oak to give it a feel of maturity.  On the palate things just fall apart and I couldn’t get past the spirit notes.  Having read other reviews I suspect my palate may have been off as there are some glowing reviews from others.  Besides that, I still find the range pricey so would not be jumping into the rest of what they have to offer although you can get some good quality independent bottlings.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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