Gordon & MacPhail Exclusive Mortlach 1989

IMG_20150806_110908Oh Mortlach, you tasty tasty devil. You used to be all cool like and affordable, but now look at you. Sold out first chance you got leaving the rest of us to scavenge for what remains. I forgive you. AliceInWhiskyland and I saw this intriguing expression at the G&M shop in Elgin. We had a taste of it there and decided that we needed to take home a bottle. For those who are not so familiar with Mortlach, it has recently been repositioned as a luxury whisky brand by their proud owner Diageo. What this means is that an official bottling of Mortlach 18 will be about £174 in the shop. Pretty hefty. So what we have here is a G&M bottling at 50% ABV of ~25 year old heavily sherried Mortlach. That’s magical.

Distillery: Mortlach

Bottler: Gordon and MacPhail

Distilled: 1989

Bottled: November 2014

Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogshead

ABV: 50%

Price: £125 at Gordon and MacPhail Elgin Shop



Rich deep warm spices of a dark mulled wine. A bit of smoke. Reminds me of sniffing old sherry casks at distilleries. Seasoned leather. Cinnamon, cloves and star anise. European oak like the Laphroaig sherry cask stave in my room. Slightly medicinal.


Woo lots of things hit you at once. That spicy mulled wine, some TCP peatiness with wisps of smoke undulating on the tongue. Raisins in liqueur. Maraschino cherries. Lingon berries. Smoked seaweed. Kombu. A bit savoury. Spicy oak.


Long like the the last dying embers of a camp fire. So strangely smokey. Spicy oak and maraschino cherries. A hint of ocean like being at the beach at night with a bonfire going.




I bought a bottle of this on our recent trip to Speyside. It was an expensive bottle but I bit the bullet and went for it. I can say that I have no regrets which is rare for me (typically quite neurotic, ask AliceInWhiskyland for details). The richness of flavours and that surprise of smoke. It just has so much going on and it makes you want to keep having more to see what else turns up. Kind of makes me think of walking along the Santa Monica beach at night with the moon high. Just wandering and listening to the waves. May sound sappy but this sure does make me feel good!



The smell of a sunny day at the lumber yard. drying cranberries and apricot. Honey sweetness and burning beeswax candles.


Red berries, cinnamon bark, a rich sweetness like eating honeycomb and sucking on the beeswax. Creme liquor in coffee.


Lingering acidic notes, like the last drip of a Portuguese espresso.




A delicious dram, complex, a real flirt. I would definitely be back for more!


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