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1990 Mortlach 22 Year Old K&L Exclusive Chieftain's Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1131046

If you've ever taken a sip of Johnnie Walker Black then you've tasted Mortlach whisky. The Speyside distillery is one of Diageo's most-prized institutions, creating richly-textured whiskies that provide the backbone to many of its legendary blends. Yet because the whisky isn't sold as a single malt in the United States, the name Mortlach doesn't necessarily stir the emotions of the whisky-loving faithful. But there's another reason Mortlach hasn't achieved stardom abroad: most of what does make it to the States, under the guise of an independent label, is unsherried. To drink Mortlach out of an unsherried hogshead barrel is like drinking Laphroaig without peat or Macallan without richness. It's not at all representative of what the distillery does best. Nevertheless, the occasional hogshead makes its way over every now and again, devoid of the toffee, the cake, the spice, and the power. It's no wonder that these oddballs have done little to boost the distillery's rep. On our last visit to Scotland, however, we finally found a prize worthy of purchasing: an ancient, first-fill sherry cask of delicious, traditional, full-throttle Mortlach. Think Macallan 18 on steroids: big, opulent, dense, chewy, meaty, caramel, fudge, baking spices, herbaceous notes, and cakebread. Considering that Macallan 18 just took another price increase, this Mortlach looks like a super value. We've never found a cask of Mortlach this good, and we don't expect to again. Just make sure to add water!

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Price: $300.00
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Product Reviews:

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/18/2013 | Send Email
Reading my co-workers' reviews, I couldn't help but notice both the huge number of total reviews, and the fact that they are all very similar raves about this whisk(e)y.I'm admittedly late to have caught this train, but absolutely feel the need to chime in on this one. As a sherry drinker, I'm especially fond of the burnished, burnt caramel, dried citrus peel and walnut husk flavors of dry oloroso. This bottling perfectly embodies these flavors; you can tell that not only are these first fill Oloroso Sherry barrels, but really high quality ones at that! (I wonder where they were purchased?) I have to agree with David; this is perhaps the most complete, well balanced, delicious bottle of sherry barrel aged scotch I have tasted. A new favorite and instant classic for me and, I suspect, for many of our single malt customers as well.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/17/2013 | Send Email
Delicious and just packed full of flavor. This 22 year old Mortlach is dark brown from the sherry cask aging. It is rich, round and mouth filling with lots of flavors to think about and enjoy.

By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
Pungent stuff, this! The nose gives off big aromas of salty, toasted almond, brown sugar, maple syrup and caramel fudge. You might think this would then be one of the sweeter malts, but it switches up when you taste it: the contrast of the salty, rancio notes from the Sherry cask keeps the sweetness well in bounds. Still, this is a full, thick and rich dram, which comes across to me something like a pianist playing a slow, left handed vamp on the lower reaches of his instrument. Into this deep end flavor range, on the finish, comes just the slightest bit of fruity, bright, candied citron peel; a spot of sunlight beaming into a shadowed room through a torn shade. While this, of course, makes me wish we had more Mortlach, getting to sample this singular malt is well worth the price of admission.

By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
When mortlach is good- its this freaking good. This is a rich and dense bottle of pure malty deliciousness, filled with dark fruits, baking spices, and round oak flavors that coat your mouth and leave you wanting more. Put a little water in this cask strength beast- it will show you all its capable of.
Drink from 2013 to 3013

By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
If there is one single malt I'm going to drop the cash on this year, the Mortlach has just won my first choice slot. Baking spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg with caramel and vanilla. Sweet richness intertwined with a meaty saline quality. Stunningly layered and crazy drinkable. Snap it up while you can- it's a rarity worthy the splurge.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
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I had previously seen releases of Mortlach growing up in the UK but sadly had not yet developed much of a taste for Scotch. Bottlings I have had since then in the USA have been pretty underwhelming yet I remember the distillery being held in high regard by customers in London. Just the other day Mr. Driscoll presented us with this new purchase and announced it was the real deal Mortlach expression complete with heavily sherried color, texture and taste. The bottle does not disappoint. Decadently concentrated, with a rich and saturated texture. It shows alluring and complex flavors of fruitcake, dried figs, baking spices and a beautifully savory sherry induced rancio character with toasted hazelnuts that lingers on the finish.

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
Mortlach as it was meant to be, that Diageo doesn’t see fit for the American consumer, heavily influenced by Sherry, and darn delicious. David had been raving about this, I try to remain neutral until I’ve had a chance to have it in my glass, well (and I am loathe to say this, again, but) He was right. This is one of the purest expressions of what Sherry tastes like. This isn’t sweet, like most Sherry isn’t, it is nutty, and savory, notes of roasted coffee and black walnuts, the Scotch really has been beautifully influenced by the barrel. The marriage of Single Malt and Sherry is in supreme balance, and at the apex of maturity.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
I was blown away by this malt! Finding value in over 20 year old Speyside in first fill Sherry sounds like an impossible task in today’s market, but our two David's have really done it with this Mortlach 22 Year Old. It has a deep walnut color and a rich rancio nose full of both malty sweetness and nutty Oloroso complexity. On the palate this Chieftain's bottling is giant and powerful, but opens very nicely with a little water. The finish has the rare "peacocks tail" expansiveness that only the best well aged elixirs in the world have- it goes on forever. If you don't have room for one more bottle of scotch in your cabinet, it is time to finish one, because this is not to be missed!!!!

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2013 | Send Email
Finding a cask of sherry-aged Mortlach has been kind of a white whale hunt for me. In my opinion, when Mortlach is aged properly it's the best sherry aged whisky in the world - better than Macallan, Glenfarclas, Glendronach, or Balvenie. There's something deeper and more magical happening at the core of this malt that outshines the other Speysiders. There's plenty of Mortlach casks out there, but they're always the castaways - the barrels that Diageo cut loose because they were aged in refill hogsheads (barrels that add little richness and result in light, fruity, leaner whiskies). However, we fell upon this 22 year old monster in the Chieftain's warehouse and we didn't even blink when they offered it to us. I think it's the best sherry-aged whisky we have - it may be the best sherry-aged whisky we've ever had. It makes Mac 18 seem foolish and watered-down . It makes Glenfarclas seem overbearing. It makes Glendronach seem overly sweet. Balvenie can't hold a candle to this. Behold everyone - the great Mortlach. Sherry-aged perfection if there ever was such a thing.

By: Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2013 | Send Email
Upon first sip, I realized this one is not for the faint of heart(or mouth), nor for drinking "straight". Once a splash of water (maybe some ice) is added to this beauty, the nose quickly becomes quite amazing. No doubt a huge amount of toasty caramel and even some spice on the nose. This resonated with a pretty baking spice, and savory nuttiness on the palate. The finish is long, supple, and well balanced. If you should decide to splurge, this one will not let you down.

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2013 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
Granted I'm a wine guy but I do love a good single malt now and then, and the 1990 Mortlach is a fantastic bottle at a great price for this quality. Long and rich, fruitcake, spices really meaty and complex and a hands down winner. Now this is no lightweight delicate whisky, it has wonderful power and the beauty of sherry barrel ageing, with a wonderful meatiness. David finds us quite a few fantastic gems and this is another winner!

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