Go to content

Main menu:

Mortlach

Whisky Collection Bar > M

MORTLACH   15 years old 40 %              
Proprietors: George Cowie & Son Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

MORTLACH   21 years old 40 %                  
Proprietors: George Cowie & Son Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

MORTLACH  10 years old 43 %             
SCOTTISH WILDLIFE
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

MORTLACH   13 years old 59,5 %    INFO    
Distilled May 80
LAST  BOTTLE  AND  EMPTY

Bottled Jan 94
Society Cask No. code 76.11
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh.

MORTLACH   12 years old 46 %       INFO    
UN-CHILLFILTERED COLLECTION
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT
Matured in a Sherry Butt
Distilled 22nd August 1989
Bottled 7 th June 2002
Cask No. 3652
Genummerde flessen
827 Bottles
No Chillfiltration
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

MORTLACH   16 years old 43 %    INFO      
FLORA & FAUNA
Distilled 1976
Bottled 1992
Mortlach Distillery, Dufftown, Keith,
Banffshire

MORTLACH   1 9 5 9  42 years old 40 %
Distilled 1959
Bottled 2001
Proprietors: George Cowie & Son, Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

MORTLACH  10 years old 40%
CENTENARY RESERVE 1895- 1995      
100 years of quality and exellence
Distilled 1984
Bottled 1995
Proprietors: George Cowie & Son, Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

MORTLACH   20 years old 43%                 
THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT
SCOTCH WHISKY SELECTION
Distilled 27.8.75
Bottled 3.96
Cask No. 6250
315 bottles
Van Wees, Amersfoort

MORTLACH   20 years old 62,2 %         INFO      
RARE MALTS SELECTION
Natural Cask Strenght
Distilled 1978
Bottled May 1998
Limited Edition
Genummerde flessen
George Cowie & Son, Elgin

MORTLACH   17 years old 63,1 %     INFO       
FLORA & FAUNA
CASK STRENGHT
Year of Distillation 1980
Bottled in 1997
Limited Bottling
Genummerde flessen
Mortlach Distillery, Dufftown, Keith,
Banffshire

MORTLACH   13 years old 58,6 %       INFO     
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Distilled Jun 90
Bottled Jul 03
Society Cask code 76.33
Outturn 644 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Something for everyone'

MORTLACH   13 years old 58,6%     INFO       
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Distilled Jun 90
Bottled Jul 03
Society Cask code 76.34
Outturn 655 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, dinburgh
''Carnations and treacle'

MORTLACH    12  years  old 44 %                
THE SECRET TREASURES
OF SCOTLAND
SINGLE CASK - SINGLE MALT
SPEYSIDE SCOTCH WHISKY
This product was originally
Distilled on 23th August 1989
Cask No. 3665
Especially selected by A. Rickards,
Master Blender
Numbered Bottles
720 Bottles
Imported by S. Fassbind AG, Oberath
The Moray Malt Whisky Ltd, Edinburgh.

MORTLACH   32 years old 50,1 %   INFO  
SPECIAL RELEASES 2004
Fine Cask
Natural Cask Strength
Uniquely distilled
Distilled: 1971
Bottled: 2004
2160 numbered and
hand etched bottles
Limited Edition
Mortlach Distillery, Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire

MORTLACH     21 years old 80o Proof / 45.7 G.L. 1  
PURE  MALT   
SCOTCH WHISKY
Distilled January  1957
Bottled May  1978
Proprietors:  George Cowie & Son Ltd
Wm. Cadenhead, 18 Golden Square,   
Aberdeen

MORTLACH    13 years old 46 %            
SIGNATORY   VINTAGE
THE   UN-CHILLFILTERED COLLECTION
VINTAGE   1991
Distilled on:  04.06.1991
Bottled on: 12.04.2005
Matured in:   Sherry Butt
Cask No:   4814
763Numbered Bottles
No Chill-Filtration
Natural Colour
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

MORTLACH   50 years old 40 %       INFO
The Dram Taker's
Adepted from the Book of Kells,
circa 700 A.D.
Distilled on 31st December 1942
Matured in selected casks
at the distillery
and more recently
in our warehouses
in Elgin
The whisky was drawn from cask
on its 50th Anniversary,
Thursday 31st December 1992
in the City and Royal Burgh of Elgin
Numbered Bottles
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin,
Scotland Specialists
in Fine Malt Whiskies since 1895

MORTLACH           1 9 9 0                                                           
18 years old 46 %
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY  SELECTION
SPEYSIDE  SINGLE  MALT
Distilled: 12/09/90
Matured in a Sherry Butt
Cask no: 5962
Bottled: 28/11/08
Natural Colour
Non Chillfiltered
The Ultimate Whisky Company, Amersfoort


MORTLACH  46 %
1 9 9 0
Matured  for  21 years             
Speyside Single Malt
THE  ULTIMATE SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled: 17/09/90
Matured in a Sherry Butt
Cask no: 6077
Bottled: 11/05/12
775 Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Non Chill Filtered
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL


MORTLACH
VINTAGE  2 0 0 3
10  years old  46 %                                    
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Speyside Single Malt
Distilled: 09/06/03
Matured in a bourbon Barrel
Cask no: 800221
Bottled: 06/11/13
335 Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Non Chillfiltered
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL

MORTLACH INFO
Aged  26 years old 59.4 %          
SINGLE MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
FROM  A  SINGLE  CASK
Date distilled: 24TH  April 1986
Society Cask No: 76.94
Cask type: Refill Hogshead  ex Bourbon
Outturn:  Only one of 249 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
Totally flavoursome

MORTLACH INFO
Aged   18 years  56,5 %                              
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
FROM  A  SINGLE  CASK
Date Distilled:  19th jul 1995
Cask Type: Refill  Butt / ex Sherry
Society Single Cask No: Code: 76.115
Outturn: One of Only 535 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
Glamping in a Yurt


MORTLACH INFO
Aged 25 years 48.4 %                               
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
FROM  A  SINGLE  CASK
Date Distilled:  5th October 1988
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead / ex Bourbon
Society Single Cask No: CODE 76.117
Outturn: One of only 248 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
A grand old lady in the piano shop


MORTLACH
VINTAGE  2 0 0 8
Matured for 6 years 46 %              
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Speyside Single Malt
Distilled: 13/03/08
Matured in Bourbon Barrel
Cask no: 800011
Bottled:18/11/14
358 Numbered Bottles
Bottle no: 64
Natural Colour
Non Chillfiltered
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL

MORTLACH INFO
Aged  18 years  56.7 %                    
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
FROM  A  SINGLE  CASK
Date Distilled 19TH  July 1995
Cask Type: Refill Butt / ex Sherry
Outturn: One of only 586 Bottles
Society Single Cask No: 76.119
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
"On Christmas day in the morning!"


MORTLACH INFO
VINTAGE  1 9 8 4   43 %                     
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Distilled 1984
Bottled 2014
Proprietors: George Cowie & Son Ltd
Mortlach Distillery Dufftown
Matured & Bottled by
Gordon & Machail, Elgin

MORTLACH
VINTAGE  2 0 0 8
7 years old  46 %                                 
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Speyside Single Malt
Distilled: 13/03/08
Matured in a Bourbon Barrel
Cask no: 800014
Bottled: 19/03/15
317 Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Non Chillfiltered
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL

Highland Malt
Speyside
MORTLACH (1823)

Dufftown, Banffshire. Licentiehouder: George Cowie & Son Ltd. Mortlach is onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (S.M.D.) De malt divisie van United Distillers Ltd. Eigendom van Guinness.
Mortlach betekent 'grote vreugde'. Op deze plaats versloeg Koning Malcolm de Tweede de Denen in 1010.
Het was de eerste gebouwde distilleerderij te Dufftown en kreeg een licensie in 1823.
Het proceswater werd betrokken van John's Well. Nu komt het water van bronnen in de Conval Hills en koelwater van de rivier Dullan.
De eerste licentienemer was James Findlater die het land huurde van de Earl of Macduff.
Findlater had twee compagnons van 1822 - 1825: Donald Mclntosh en Alexander Gordon, beiden afkomstig van Elgin.
In 1831 stond Mortlach te koop en John Robertson, distillateur en looier kocht de dis-tilleerderij voor E 270.
Mortlach was gesloten in 1832.
In 1833 kocht Arthur Thomas Gregory Mortlach.
In 1837 was Mortlach weer gesloten.
In 1862 worden J. en J Grant van Glen Grant te Aberlour de eigenaars van Mortlach.
Zij verwijderden alle apperatuur en Mortlach was enige jaren in gebruik als kerkgebouw van de 'Free Church'.
John Gordon was de volgende eigenaar en begon er een bierbrouwerij om wat later ook te gaan distilleren.
John Gordon had toen acht mensen in dienst en zijn whisky die een uitstekende naam had werd verkocht onder de naam The Real John Gordon.
Mortlach was toen, net als zoveel andere distilleerderijen, een boerderij - distilleerderij, met 24 stuks rindvee en 150 varkens.
George Cowie (1816 - 1896) een landmeter, werd deelgenoot in 1853 en na Gordon's dood in 1867 de alleen eigenaar.
Onder zijn leiding expandeerde Mortlach.
Toen zijn éne zoon stierf werd Alexander Mitchell Cowie, dokter in de medicijnen te Hong Kong zijn opvolger in 1895 en onder zijn leiding kwam Mortlach tot grote bloei.
In 1896 werd een aftakking gemaakt van de spoorweg vanaf Dufftown tot aan de distil-leerderij en er kwam electriciteit.
Mortlach was toen de grootste distilleerderij in de streek met in twee ketelhuizen zes ketels. In de lagerpakhuizen kon 5.200.000 liter whisky rijpen.
Cowie's enige zoon stierf in de eerste wereldoorlog en Mortlach werd verkocht aan John Walker & Sons Ltd, in 1936.
In tegenstelling tot de meeste andere distilleerderijen bleef Mortlach geopend gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog, uitgezondert 1944.

Mortlach werd van 1960 tot 1964 kompleet nieuw gebouwd.
Sinds 1971 worden de zes ketels met stoom verhit, de kapaciteit is 1§ miljoen liter spirit per jaar.
De zes ketels, geen van de ketels is gelijk staan drie (wash-) en drie spiritstills) bij elkaar op rij.
In wash still nummer drie, en spirit still wordt normaal gedistilleerd. De voor- en naloop wordt gescheiden van de middeloop. Dat eindprodukt met een alcoholpercentage van 70 % dat wordt gescheiden in de wash stills nummer één en twee in twee delen, namelijk in staarten van 10 % en koppen van 35 %. Daarna worden de koppen uit de wash stills nummer één en twee voor de tweede keer gedistilleerd in spirit still nummer 2.
De staarten uit de wash stills nummer één en twee worden verzameld tot spirit still nummer één gevuld kan worden, hierin wordt dan drie maal gedistilleerd, respectievelijk met 15 %, 20 % en 70 %
Nu worden de voor- en naloop weer gescheiden van de middenloop en alle distillaten
van de verschillende spirit ketels worden nu in één spirit ontvanger met elkaar gemengd
en gaat de spirit in de vaten.
Tot de distilleerderij behoren drie boerderijen: Muirs , 27 hectare, Pitglassie, 60 hectare en Auchanhandoch 44 hectare groot.
Op 12 Mei 1997 wordt de fusie aangekondigd tussen Guinness en Grand Metropolitan en op 22 Oktober 1997 wordt de nieuwe naam bekend gemaakt van de gefuseerden: Diageo.
Het water komt van de Conval heuvels: van Dykehead en Catscraig.
De Mash tun is 12 ton.
Er staan zes Wash backs van elk 62000 liter.
Drie Wash stills hebben een inhoud van elk 7500 liter, één 17.500 liter.
Drie Spirit stills zijn allen verschillend, één is groot 8000 liter, één 8500 liter en één 9500 liter.
De ketels worden met stoom verhit.
De capaciteit is 2.000.000 liter spirit per jaar.
De distilleerderij kat Blaijr is^gYeÈleden in 2001.

2005  Kapaciteit: 2.800.000 liter spirit per jaar.
October 2005
Diageo has announced that its 2005 Annual Rare Malts Selection will be the last.
The collection will consist of four cask strenght single malts from closed distilleries; Glen Mhor 28 years old, Millburn 35 years old, Glendullan 26 years old and Linkwood 30 years old.
Dr. Nicholas Morgan, global malts marketing director commented: 'As the Special Releases are now well established, it makes less sence to continue selecting and promoting a parallel series of Rare Malts with his own separate indentity'.
In future, all premium and rare whiskies will be made available in the annual Special Releases series.

Mortlach Distillery
Dufftown, Banffshire
There are now seven distilleries in Dufftown, within a radius of a mile. Mortlach was the only one until 1887. It was licensed, in 1823, under the Act of that year which reduced the duty on spirits from an exorbitant to a moderate level and thereby removed much of the incentive for illicit dis-tilling. According to a local tradition, recorded in 1887, Mortlach Distillery was built on the site of an illicit still that drew its water from a spring called Highland John's Well. Today process water comes from springs in the Conval Hills and cooling water from the River Dullan.The applicant for the licence, James Findlater, had obtained a lease of land from the Earl of Macduff. He had two partners in 1822-25: Donald Mcintosh and Alexander Gordon, both of Dufftown. The distillery was advertised for sale in 1831, when John Robertson, distiller and tanner, bought it for £270. The excise records, and presumably the distillery, were silent in 1832, but in the following year production was resumed by Arthur Thomas Gregory. It closed again in 1837.
Some years thereafter, according to a description of the parish of Mortlach, published in the Elgin Courant for 21 February 1862: "Mortlach Distillery was . . . purchased by Messrs. J. & J. Grant of Glengrant, then distillers at Aberlour. This firm took away the distillery apparatus, and the distillery was unoccupied for some years, the barley granary serving in the interval as a Free Church until one was erected in Dufftown. Mr. John Gordon then bought the distillery, and for some time conducted a brewery business in it. In a short time, however, he commenced distilling ..." Since then, the paper added ". . . the works have been greatly enlarged and improved . . . The supply of water is abundant and fine, and the whole machinery is driven by an overshot wheel, twelve feet in diameter. Eight men are employed at the distillery, and about forty quarters of barley are used weekly. The works are most compact and convenient, and the spirits produced are of excellent quality. They are mostly sold in Leith and Glasgow, but have attained some celebrity in the district under the name of 'The Real John Gordon'."
Residue from the barley used in the fermentation and distilling processes was not wasted. "In byres adjoining the distillery there are generally about 24 cattle kept and fattened upon burnt ale and draff: the ale being conveyed to them in pipes, so that nothing more is necessary than to turn a cock in the byre and let it flow into their troughs. About 150 pigs are fed upon the refuse of the distillery."
George Cowie (1816-96) became a partner in 1853. He was a land surveyor who had helped to survey the new railway lines projected in Banffshire, and subsequently, in the words of his obituarist, "found arduous but pleasant employment in the prosecution of large engineering enterprises in Scotland and England". As sole proprietor of Mortlach after Gordon's death in 1867, he found scope for his energy in expanding the business and as tenant of Pitglassie Farm, where he bred polled Aberdeen Angus cattle. He took an active part in public life as provost of Dufftown, chairman of the School Board of Mortlach, chairman of the Stephen Cottage Hospital and of other bodies, "having always been found on the side of real progress and improvement".

His son, Dr. Alexander Mitchell Cowie (1861-1940), graduated in medicine at Aberdeen University and secured a senior medical appointment in Hong Kong in 1890. Five years later, when his brother died, he came home to take over the family business. He became one of the leading Highland distillers, served on the town council, the county council and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Banffshire.
Major additions to the premises were made in 1897, when a siding was built from the railway, near Dufftown Station, right into the distillery. Electric lighting was installed in the following year. Mortlach then assumed the form described by a contributor to the Wine & Spirit Trade Record in 1923. He found "a veritablevillage" that dwarfed all neighbouring distilleries. It had two barley lofts, four "gigantic" malt floors, the largest mash-tun in the district, seven exceptionally large wash-backs, and two still-houses: "in one there are three old-fashioned stills, with a capacity of about 2,000 gallons (5,200 litres) each (and) in the other are three larger stills, installed in 1897". Driving power for the malting and mashing processes was supplied by a new Marshall steam engine of 50 h. p. The substantially built warehouses were capable of storing two million gallons (5,0 litres).
Dr. Cowie, whose only son had been killed in the Great War, sold the business to John Walker & Sons Ltd., of Kilmarnock, in 1923. Mortlach has been operated as a unit of Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd., a subsidiary of The Distillers Company Limited, since 1936. More fortunate than most malt whisky distilleries, which had to close down for the greater part of the second world war owing to restrictions on the use of barley, Mortlach stayed open except in 1944.
SMD embarked in the 1960s on a long-term programme of modernising and re-equipping its distilleries. The cramped lay-out of the site at Mortlach and the condition of the old buildings made it necessary to demolish and replan the premises from scratch. In the new distillery, completed in 1964, the mash-house and tun-room were combined in an open plan, and the six stills, previously hand-fired, were converted to a mechanical coal-stoking system. The stills were again converted, in 1971, to internal heating by steam.
The site of the complex covers 6 acres (2.4 hectares). SMD owns 12 houses for occupation by employees at the distillery. The company also owns the adjoining Pitglassie Estate which comprises three farms: Muirs (67 acres or 27 hectares), Pitglassie (150 acres or 60 hectares) and Auchanhandoch (109 acres or 44 hectares). The main products of all three farms are beef cattle and lambs.
The licensed distillers are George Cowie & Son Ltd., Kilmarnock. They blend and bottle John Barr Scotch Whisky and bottle Mortlach as a single malt whisky.

HEN HARRIER (Circus cyaneus)

At the beginning of this century persecution by keepers meant that the Hen Harrier was a rare sight, restricted to the Orkneys and Outer Hebrides. Since changes in the wildlife law has given them protection they have increased in numbers and spread their range rapidly.
Males are grey with a white rump patch and dark wing tips, females are brown with streaked underparts. They bredd on open moorland, nesting on the ground. During breeding the male does most of the hunting bringing small birds close to the nest. The female then rises and takes the food from her mate in the air, turning upside down to do so.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust is a charitable organisation whose aims are to promote the concervation of the wildlife of Scotland. A donation will made to the Trust for every bottle sold.
Uitgebracht in 1983.

The World's oldest whisky:

Distilled on the 15th October 1938. bottled at cask strength 46.1 %. 70 years old

Released in the "Generations"range

Matured in a ex - sherry butt from Cardinal de Salis, Royal Sherry Co, Sherez

Bottled on 15th October 2008 and presented in a tear - shaped crystal decanter, hand
blown and nestled in a silver base, framed in a handmade Brazilian Rosewood box

Bottled: 54 Decanters each 10.000 Pounds, and 162 Decanters á 20 cl each 2500 Pounds
DIAGEO

April 2013

Diageo has named Teaninich near Alness as the location for its plans to build a new 50 million pound new malt whisky distillery and will be adjacent the existing Teaninich distillery
but will have its own name and indentity and will have the capacity to produce 13 million
litres of spirit p[er annum from its 16 stills.

Diageo also invest 12 million pound in expanding the Teaninich distillery to almost doubless capacity.

The site will also feature a bio - energy plant.

The work will begin in 2014.

Diageo also will invest in Mortlach distillery  in building a new still house and an other invest-
ment will be at Glendullan distillery to process co products in an anaerobic digestion process, producing bio - gas which will be used to power the Glendullan distillery.

There are also expansion and upgrade developments for more then 40 million pound in
Linkwood, Mannochmore, Glendullan, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Inchgower, Cragganmore,
Glen Elgin, Glen Ord and in a new bio - energie plants in Glenlossie and Dailuaine.

Also new warehouse are build at Cluny near Kirkcaldy.

And at Talisker  a new visitor centre is build for a 1 million pound.

MORTLACH  DISTILLERY

Water: Conval Hills: Dykehead & Catscraig
Mash tun: 1 x 12 tonnes
Washbacks: 6 x 62000 litres
3 wash stills: 2 x 7500 litres, 1 x 17.500 litres
3 spirit stills: 1 x 8000 litres, 1 x 8500 litres, 1 x 9500 litres
Output: 2.000.000 litres

Diageo to reinvent Mortlach with £30m investment
Scotland's biggest whisky maker has this evening unveiled plans to breath fresh life into one of Speyside's oldest distilleries by launching a single malt made at Mortlach, described as "the beast of Dufftown".
Diageo - which owns blended brands including Bell's, J&B and Johnnie Walker - will pump nearly £30 million into building a second still house at Mortlach to replicate the complex shape of distillery's stills.
Up until now, only a few bottles of Mortlach single malt have been released to connoisseurs, with the vast majority of production going towards blends.
Next summer, four versions of the Scotch - rare old, special strength, 18-year-old and 25-year-old - will be sold to the duty-free and luxury markets.
The FTSE 100 group - which also makes Gordon's gin, Guinness stout and Smirnoff vodka - said that the investment would form part of the £1 billion expansion plan unveiled last year.
The company revealed in April that its investment programme would include expansion on Speyside and has now unveiled details of the scheme.
Diageo said: "Mortlach has been described by whisky connoisseurs as 'The Beast of Dufftown', for its rich and powerful flavours, produced in an astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process.
"For decades, Mortlach's output has been largely captured by blenders to add its unique notes to complex blended Scotch whiskies - though in recent times, a very limited number of bottles of Mortlach single malt whisky have been available, and sold rapidly to connoisseurs in the know.
"But now for the first time, and in response to suggestions over the years that such a rewarding single malt whisky deserved a wider market, it will be available in global markets in four expressions aimed at global travel and the luxury and connoisseur segment."

Diageo to release The Beast
02 December, 2013

Diageo has told the trade it will re-release Mortlach single malt scotch next year, a dram dubbed "The Beast of Dufftown".
In recent years the Speyside distillery's heavy, dark whisky was reserved for blending and has only been made available in very limited numbers as a single malt, but the Dufftown site will now see capacity doubled from 3.8m to 7.6m litres in a project costing £18m.
From mid-2014 the distillery will be renewed and expanded, while the re-branded single-malt will be made available in global markets.
Mortlach single malt will be aimed at global travel retail and the luxury and connoisseur segments and will be released in four expressions: Rare Old, Special Strength, 18 YO and 25 YO.
Diageo will continue to use the distillery's output for its blended whiskies.
Details of distribution and price will be disclosed in February 2014.
Rare Old (43% abv) will have an "affordable luxury price", Nick Morgan, head of whiskies outreach at Diageo, told Drinks International, and has been aged in a combination of refilled and first fill American and European oak.
Special Strength (49% abv) is a higher proof version of Rare Old, the 18YO (43.4% abv) has been aged in first fill and refill European and American oak, while the 25YO (43.4% abv) was matured in American refill casks but has the character of European oak, said Morgan.
According to Diageo, Mortlach is produced by an "astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process", which has been explained as '2.81 distilled', as most but not all of the whisky is distilled three times.
Dave Broom, said of Mortlach single malt in his The World Atlas of Whisky (2010): "At its best in European oak - it has the muscle to cope - Mortlach has become a cult single malt, but is unlikely ever to be a front-line player because its individuality is too highly prized by blenders.
"This throwback to the old days, days before Dufftown even existed, is at the foundation of many famous  blends. It is the dark reduction of whisky to some primal essence."

Diageo has released details and images of Mortlach, the"reborn" single malt that is dubbed "the beast of Dufftown" and which will be launched this summer.
The guide price for Mortlach Rare Old is £55, Mortlach 18 year old is £180, and Mortlach 25 year old is £600.  In global travel retail, Special Strength will be £75.
The group says that limited supply - at least until expansion of Mortlach's distillery is complete - means the bottles will be 50cl. For legal reasons, they will be 75cl in the US.
The range will first be available in London and Berlin in June, and in a small number of global travel retail channels.
They will then roll out  in restricted volumes to "the cosmopolitan cities of Asia-Pacific in August (for example Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne) and at the same time to New York, Chicago and San Francisco in the United States."
Diageo added: "To build more stocks of Mortlach for the years ahead, plans are progressing for the expansion of Mortlach distillery with all the strong purpose, ingenuity and attention to detail of the Cowies, doubling the distillery's capacity.
Referring to the bottle, Diageo said the design was a tribute to the distillery's ex-owner Scottish civil engineer George Cowie, and son Dr Alexander Cowie.
A statement said: "In tribute to these distinguished pioneers, the design style of the new packaging is rooted in an engineered world, reminiscent of beautiful man-made structures, whilst also elegant, luxurious and contemporary."

We, the Tasting Panel, verify that the Scotch Malt Whisky inside this bottle has been
passed under some of the most scrupulous noses in the world and approved for re-
lease as a Society bottling.

Only single cask whiskies that promise to intrigue, entertain and delight our members
are selected, true to our motto: "TO  LEAVE  NO  NOSE UPTURNED

The wash (from clear wort and long fermentation) is split between three wash stills; No. 3 wash still and No.3 spirit still work in tandem and as per normal.

The low wines from wash stills No. 1 and 2 is, however, split into two parts. The first 80% of the run is collected as the charge for spirit still No. 2. The remaining 20% (called weak feints) forms the charge for spirit still No.1 otherwise known as ‘The Wee Witchie’. This distils the weak feints three times with only the heart of the final run being collected. It all adds up to the new make spirit having been distilled 2.81 times.

In addition to this, all the stills are run relatively speedily with no air rests to rejuvenate the copper and all lyne arms running into cold worm tubs. The result of this complex regime in a copper-starved environment is a building up of sulphur and ‘meatiness’ in the new make spirit, with the ‘dud runs’ on the Wee Witchie providing an extra meaty boost. Although it is aged in a mix of casks, Mortlach’s weight makes it an ideal partner with ex-Sherry casks.

While other meaty spirits are made [most notably Benrinnes and Dailuaine] none have Mortlach’s weight, meaning that this is a highly-prized base note for blends. As a result, there has been little stock available for single malt bottlings bar the occasional independent bottlings (most notably with Gordon & MacPhail) and small batches of a 16-year-old in Diageo’s Flora & Fauna range. Mortlach seemed destined to remain a cult malt.

In 2014, however, that changed with the launch of a four-strong range: Rare Old, Special Strength, (both no-age-statement), 18-year-old, and 25-year-old.

Mortlach was the name of the original village which sprang up around the abbey of the name, founded by Saint Moluag in the 7th century. With the building of Dufftown in 1817 the old name fell in abeyance – apart from the distillery.

The distillery was the first to be licensed within Dufftown, being founded by James Findlater, Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon in 1823. It passed briefly into the hands of the Grant brothers of Glen Grant fame who gutted the buildings and used the equipment for their distillery in Rothes.

It was George Cowie and his son Alexander who, from the 1850s on, recommenced whisky production and steered Mortlach to a pre-eminent position as a blending malt.

Although no-one is sure where the unique distillation regime originated, its adherence to richness and weight singles Mortlach out as one of the distilleries with a robust belief in the older ways of making whisky.

It remained in the Cowie’s hands until 1923 when it became part of John Walker & Sons and from there via DCL into Diageo.

In 2014, it was announced that a mirror image of the existing distillery would be built which, when completed, will double total capacity.

1823
James Findlater, Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon found Mortlach
1824
Findlater steps back from the project, leaving the distillery to Gordon and Mackintosh
1831
John Robertson purchases Mortlach for £270, who then sells is to A&T Gregory the following year
1837
Grant brothers, James and John, become part-owners and gut the distillery
1853
George Cowie becomes part owner, and takes over sole operation when John Alexander Gordon dies in 1867
1895
Cowie's son, Alexander, joins the company and two years later extends Mortlach's stills from three to six
1923
John Walker & Sons purchase the distillery from the Cowies
1925
The group becomes part of Distillers Company Limited
1968
Mortlach halts use of its floor maltings
2014
Four new bottlings are released as Diageo announces plans to extend the distillery

CONDENSER TYPE i
Worm tub
FERMENTATION TIME i
Minimum 53hrs
FILLING STRENGTH i
63.5%
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
12
HEAT SOURCE i
Steam
MALT SPECIFICATION i
Non peated
MALT SUPPLIER i
Mainly in house
MASH TUN TYPE i
Lauter
NEW-MAKE PHENOL LEVEL i
Non peaty
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
71-72%
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
9,000
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
Neck ball
STILLS i
6 (1 intermediate)
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
10,300
WASH STILL SHAPE i
Neck ball
WASHBACK TYPE i
Wood
WASHBACKS i
6
WATER SOURCE i
Conval Hills Spring
WORT CLARITY i
Clear
YEAST TYPE i
Creamed
OWNERS

Diageo
1997 - present
PREVIOUS OWNERS

United Distillers
1986 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1925 - 1986
John Walker & Sons
1923 - 1925
George Cowie & Son
1867 - 1923
John Gordon and George Cowie
1853 - 1867
John Gordon
1842 - 1853
J&J Grant
1837 - 1842
A&T Gregory
1832 - 1837
John Robertson
1831 - 1832
Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon
1824 - 1831
James Findlater, Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon
1823 - 1824

Back to content | Back to main menu