Mortlach won’t be the most familiar brand outside of devoted whisky circles, but those who know of “The Beast of Dufftown” understand that the distillery’s nickname is well-earned. Mortlach’s whiskies are forceful and meaty — a considerable departure from the sweet and mellow whiskies that define the Speyside region — and one can only imagine what extensive ageing would do for its character.
For a lucky 94, they won’t have to. The recently announced Mortlach 47-Year-Old, of which only 94 bottles were made, is now available through a global online registration process in anticipation of frenzied demand. Collectors will be able to register their interest on the Justerini & Brooks website from now till 6pm GMT on 23 April 2019. Bottle number eight however, has already been auctioned off by Bonhams in Singapore last month with all proceeds going to the Daughters of Tomorrow charity. Best move quickly.
The finished whisky emerged from three American oak hogshead casks that were filled in April 1971 and bottled at 46.8 per cent ABV. Expectedly restrained yet complex, you can spend many an evening unravelling the medley of aromas and flavours which include honey, myrrh, peaches and plums alongside notes of earth, spice and wood ash. Compared with other whiskies this old, the 47-Year-Old still packs considerable vibrancy and power.
It marks the first in Mortlach’s new Singing Stills Series, a collection that will soon be filled with more rare single cask expressions, and named for the distillery’s famously odd set of mismatched copper pot stills that let out a surprisingly harmonious hum when starting up after winter’s end. The 47-Year-Old is also the oldest bottling direct from the distillery, though the oldest Mortlach ever is actually the 75-Year-Old bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
Register for a bottle at justerinis.com/Mortlach1971Release. Each 70cl bottle is priced at £10,000 (S$18,000), excluding local taxes and duties.