I have been helping a journlaist prepare an article on Speyside for a series of American magazines. She asked me back at the end of February what I thought of the new Mortlach range. This is before I had seen any of the price details or images. This is what I said which I don't think is bad for someone who isn't in the Diageo inner circle because they write a couple of blogs and obviously I have had nothing to do with supporting Mortlach as a brand for many years. Anyway not quite clairvoyance but nice to know I am reasonably in touch with what is going on - given I am "in the middle of nowehere. In the center of the middle of nowhere but nowhere".
What do you think about the release of Mortlach as a single malt range? And how do you think it will be received in the market? Why do you think this is such a special whisky?
It is great that Diageo are finally putting Mortlach officially on the map. It often felt like they were trying to hide it from view which I guess helped it gain its cult status. The market is still getting used to no age statement expressions. I have always found them harder to sell. An age statement is felt to be some kind of a badge of quality. I understand the companies say that a younger whisky can be just as good as an older one, each cask matures the whisky inside differently, an age statement limits them unnecessarily on the casks they can use. But we have all seen no age expressions where the profile of under aged whisky comes through. We will just have to see what the quality of the liquid is the two no age statement Mortlachs. I have no doubt that the older aged expressions will be highly sort after if not too highly priced. The Flora and Fauna Mortlach 16 will be a tough act to follow. It is a big bold sherry cask whisky reflecting good wood selection and the unusual distillation process used at Mortlach making it one of the top sherry cask whiskies available. However, the batches did vary and having a consistent range should ensure that the humps and bumps that you used to see between bottles of Mortlach 16 are a thing of the past.
By Mike Lord