Monday, March 16, 2020

Whisky Review: Hepburn's Choice Mortlach 7 Year 2010/2017

While Mortlach is primarily known for its sherry casks, plenty of it is filled into bourbon casks. Some of those end up in the hands of independent bottlers, including Langside Distillers and their Hepburn's Choice line.

This whisky was distilled in 2010, filled into a refilled hogshead, then bottled in 2017 at 46% without coloring or chill filtration as part of an outturn of 404 bottles.

I purchased this sample from Dramtime.

Hepburn's Choice Mortlach 7 Year 2010/2017

Nose: very green with lots of new make notes, a fair bit of sulfur, clean malt, unripe fruits (pineapple, pear, apple), citrus peel. After adding a few drops of water it remains roughly the same, but with less overt new make.

Taste: thick clean malt sweetness with some green new make notes on top, a vague fruitiness around the middle, fading into fresh malt bitterness with some citrus overtones. After dilution it gets even thicker and sweeter with a bit less new make, a touch of oak comes out, and the middle gets creamier with a bit of vanilla.

Finish: fresh malt, new make, green bitterness, a little sulfur

I'm honestly a little baffled why this was released. While it's not overtly bad, it clearly hasn't had enough time in the cask. There's almost no color or oak, so it seems like there's no risk of it taking too much from the cask. With more time to burn off the new make character this might have developed into something decent, but as is it's nothing I would like to drink more of.

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