Storied Speyside Scotch Distillery Gets Glorious New Whiskies - The Whiskey Wash

Storied Speyside Scotch Distillery Gets Glorious New Whiskies

Diageo, realizing a continued growing interest in higher end Scotch, is working across its Scottish distilleries to prepare offerings that meet this increased consumer desire. One of its facilities, the Mortlach distillery in the Speyside region of Scotland, is not only getting a facelift but also seeing a revamping of its product line and packaging.

It was announced recently that Mortlach, which opened in 1823, is set to become what looks to be more of a flagship operation for its spirits giant owner. This follows in the tradition of this distillery being founded by a gifted engineer and his son so, in tribute to those behind it, Diageo said, the design style of the new packaging “is rooted in an engineered world, reminiscent of beautiful man-made structures, whilst also elegant, luxurious and contemporary.”

What Whiskies Mortlach Will Offer

Four new Mortlach variants are what is initially being made available. These include Special Strength ($125), Rare Old ($95), 18-Year-Old ($300) and 25-Year-Old ($1,000). Due to what’s described as “the very limited supplies of this unique liquid, these new expressions of Mortlach will be sold in 50 cl bottles, except for the USA where for legal reasons 750 ml bottles will be used.”


They will first be available in London and Berlin in June, and in a small number of global travel retail outlets. This will be followed by some cities in Asia-Pacific in August (for example Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore) and at the same time to New York, Chicago and San Francisco in the United States.

Tasting notes from Diageo for this four releases are as follows:

  • Mortlach Special Strength (travel retail exclusive) is a big, warming cask strength liquid with a complicated yet harmonious mix of young vanilla and mature oak, underscored by roasted aromatics and a long, pervasive and smooth finish
  • Mortlach Rare Old: A complex and bold expression with Mortlach’s signature exquisite balance of sweetness and dryness for which the distillery is renowned. Superbly structured and well balanced, the whisky’s fruit and floral notes on the nose introduce a rich, energetic palate and a pleasantly drying finish
  • Mortlach 18 Year Old is a compelling and moreish expression which is best enjoyed straight. Characterised by a fine interplay of meaty notes, malty sweetness and balancing acidity
  • Highly complex and multi-faceted, Mortlach 25 Year Old combines roasting spices and an almost animal intensity with dense layers of decadent sweetness.

The Future Of Mortlach

As for future expansion of Mortlach, plans call for an in depth overhaul that “will include the building of a new stillhouse. This will replicate the bewilderingly complex process with which [its founder] paved the way  –    a unique distillation system (which commentators have attempted to explain as ‘2.81 Distilled’)  precisely calculated to create this celebrated, highly complex and richly flavoured whisky. “

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