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March 25, 2024

Mortlach’s New 30-Year Scotch Features Completely Unique Flavors

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: , — admin @ 12:00 am

When it comes to storied Speyside Scotch, Mortlach is one of the most trusted tellers of the tale. The historic facility has been producing its hearty style of single malt for over two centuries. This month it unveils one of its rarest offerings to date: a 30-year-old whisky finished in a quirky trio of casks. Known as the Midnight Malt, only 350 bottles worth of the liquid will be released globally. We’ve got your first taste right here.

Simply put, the new release is a spiced banana bomb. It’s not the descriptor you expect from a well-aged Scotch, but this particular offering spent time in Guatemalan rum barrels, along with cooperage previously reserved for Bordeaux wine and Calvados brandy. An unlikely partnership from the start, this is unlike any other battery of finishes we’ve encountered in a singular expression.

Yet, somehow, they all layer harmoniously atop Mortlach’s umami-rich house style; the weight of the underlying malt can support this substantial song and dance. In addition to the tropical fruit—which is most pronounced in the nose and on the tip of the tongue—a parade of pepper and candied ginger marches through towards the back end. It finishes firmly, with a spicy shout.

This isn’t a Scotch for first-timers, nor for the faint of heart. It shouldn’t be an issue, since those sorts are typically averse to spending $5,300 on a single bottle of whisky. (Which is merely the suggested retail price, mind you; with such scarcity of production it’ll likely sell for far more).

Nevertheless, Mortlach always tends to skew towards seasoned Scotch sippers. The uproarious nature of its malts has earned the facility a reputation as the so-called “beast” of its historic Highland home in Dufftown. Its signature heft is the result of an unusual “2.81 times” distillation process that only the geekiest of enthusiasts would even bother trying to understand. Only slightly more folks out there even know how to pronounce the brand name (it’s Mort-liccccch, by the way).

Mortlach thrives despite—and because of—these barriers to entry. It wallows in an aura of intrigue and mystery. 

“It’s arguably the most unconventional distillery in Scotland,” admits Ewan Morgan, national luxury ambassador for Diageo, Mortlach’s parent company. “The byzantine 2.81 distillation process makes it effectively three distilleries in one. And we have no idea where the concept came from because the previous owner of the distillery destroyed all records prior to selling it in 1923. It’s truly a tale of anarchy, innovation, and entropy.”

Midnight Malt now exists as a compelling testimony. It’s that most complex of dessert drams, which will also sit pretty on any home bar. The wings of a markedly modern enclosure splay open to reveal a rectangular bottling—dyed cobalt near the neck and fading out to reveal translucence near the base. 

Just because you’re a beast doesn’t mean you can’t be a sexy one. 

Mortlach 30

Courtesy of Mortlach

Related: The 15 Best Scotch Whiskies of 2024


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