The nose here recalls cotton candy fashioned from fine Burgundy wine on the plaza of a cobblestoned, ancient European city nestled in the mountains. Oh, and there’s a kiosk next to the cotton candy one that sells carrot ragout served in a paper cone. And it’s fantastically delicate, in no small part because of the carrots they use: not baby carrots, but fetus carrots (this city is in a particularly liberal European country). But there’s also a completely separate note on the nose: the smell of a mysterious drawer, hidden behind a carved panel at the back of an old desk, that hadn’t been opened in ages and which contains love letters written in an indecipherable scrawl. Add water, and it only dials the nose down: slightly less delicate, less cobblestoned, less mysterious, and slightly more decipherable.
The mouth presents with Dinty Moore® stew served by Dudley Moore. We imagine Oliver Twist standing before a wobbly Dudley, pleading: “Can I have some Moore, please?” and Dudley graciously–and sloppily–obliging him. Aside from that, the mouth is also a bit woody and just over the line into astringent. Where one comes from to cross such a line, however, we have yet to discern precisely. But it’s important to add that the mouth is also somehow like a gustatory Comfort Pillow for the full palate. Ahhhhhhhh.
The finish is slate-y and dust-y. Like rainwater in a desert valley that is quickly reabsorbed into the atmosphere. It’s powerful–and a beautiful continuation of the mouth. There’s dark cherry, wood, dark chocolate, roasted pecans and hazelnuts–all layered on beef tallow. This last is for those Mortlach fans asking the natural question after reading the first 75% of this review. Don’t worry, Clara: it’s there and unmistakable by the end.
On the scale of iconic advertisements–
The Mortlach 26 Year Old 2019 Special Release is this one that includes a complete butchering of the name of a town in Fife–Not exactly what you’d expect from the brand, but well worth your time nonetheless. And over time, it has a chance to be, in its own right, remembered lovingly.
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!