Although the distillery is not mentioned on the label, it is a public secret that this is a Mortlach. Ian MacLeod has bottled a couple of these Speysiders under the ‘Cigar Malt’ banner – which made some think this was a Dalmore, but that is not the case. The mahogany color alone makes me want to give this a try.
OMG… this is great! A veritable umami sherry bomb! All dried fruits that you would associate with deep sherry: figs, dades, sultanas, plums, but also cherries, dried apricots and a panoply of spices with cloves and cinnamon in the lead, followed closely by candied ginger and nutmeg. Leather, tobacco, chocolate, old books, he has it all and more. This is a monster!
While it starts somewhat peppery and even a touch astringent on tannins and leather, the sherry immediately kicks in with the dark and sweet notes that I already detected on the nose, upholstered with rosewater, tobacco and elderflowers. Some orangettes and espresso shine through, as does ginger and chocolate. It goes up and down between bitter and sweet and it works! This is a beautiful malt.
The finish… ah… the finish… yes, it lasts forever and shows – before dying a bitter death on tannins – once more its umami character with leather, pipe tobacco and dark honey, while some roast beef lingers in the background.
Absolutely stunning whisky. You can get me out of bed in the middle of the night for this baby. Wake me up before you go-go! Thanks, Manny.