40 % Distilled 1959 Bottled 2001 Proprietors: George Cowie & Son, Ltd Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
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
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
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
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
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'
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'
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
MORTLACHINFO 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"
MORTLACHINFO 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
MORTLACHINFO 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
MORTLACHINFO 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!"
MORTLACHINFO 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
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Proprietors George Cowie & Son Ltd
Mortlach Distillery, Dufftown
Matured & Bottled by Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
Sherry aromas with malty undertones and a fresh citrus edge.
Sweet candied fruit flowers infuse with baked apple, raisin and
orange followed closely by charred oak.
2 0 0 8
The Ultimate Single malt Scotch Whisky
Speyside Single Malt
Matured in a Bourbon Barrel
Cask no: 800095
The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL
Matured for 10 years
The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Speyside Single Malt
Matured in a Bourbon Barrel
Cask no: 800094
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL.
Aged 25 years
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Cask Strenght Collection
Matured in a Sherry Butt
Cask No: 4243
Casks Individually selected and bottled
by Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co,
Highland Malt Speyside MORTLACH (1823)
Dufftown, Banffshire.Licentiehouder:George Cowie & Son Ltd.Mortlachis onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (S.M.D.)De malt divisie vanUnited Distillers Ltd.Eigendom vanGuinness.
Mortlachbetekent 'grote vreugde'. Op deze plaats versloegKoning Malcolm de TweededeDenenin1010.Het was de eerste gebouwde distilleerderij teDufftownen kreeg een licensie in1823.Het proceswater werd betrokken vanJohn's Well.Nu komt het water van bronnen in deConval Hillsen koelwater van de rivierDullan.
De eerste licentienemer wasJames Findlaterdie het land huurde van deEarl of Macduff.Findlaterhad twee compagnons van1822 - 1825:Donald MclntoshenAlexander Gordon, beiden afkomstig vanElgin. In1831stondMortlachte koop enJohn Robertson,distillateur en looier kocht de distilleerderij voor E 270 .Mortlachwas gesloten in1832.
In1833kochtArthur Thomas Gregory Mortlach.In1837was Mortlachweer gesloten.In1862wordenJ. en J GrantvanGlen GrantteAberlourde eigenaars vanMortlach.Zij verwijderden alle aperatuur enMortlachwas enige jaren in gebruik als kerkgebouw van de'Free Church'.
John Gordonwas de volgende eigenaar en begon er een bierbrouwerij om wat later ook te gaan distilleren.John Gordonhad toen acht mensen in dienst en zijn whisky die een uitstekende naam had werd verkocht onder de naamThe Real John Gordon.Mortlachwas toen, net als zoveel andere distilleerderijen, een boerderij - distilleerderij, met 24 stuks rindvee en 150 varkens.Onder zijn leiding expandeerdeMortlach.
George Cowie (1816 - 1896)een landmeter, werd deelgenoot in1853en naGordon'sdood in1867de alleen eigenaar.Toen zijn éne zoon stierf werdAlexander Mitchell Cowie, dokter in de medicijnen teHong Kongzijn opvolger in1895en onder zijn leiding kwamMortlachtot grote bloei.In1896werd een aftakking gemaakt van de spoorweg vanafDufftowntot aan de distilleerderij en er kwam electriciteit. Mortlachwas toen de grootste distilleerderij in de streek metin twee ketelhuizen zes ketels. In de lagerpakhuizen kon 5.200.000 liter whisky rijpen.Cowie'senige zoon stierf in de eerste wereldoorlog enMortlachwerd verkocht aanJohn Walker & Sons Ltd,in1936.In tegenstelling tot de meeste andere distilleerderijen bleefMortlachgeopend gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog, uitgezondert1944.
Mortlachwerd van1960tot1964kompleet nieuw gebouwd.Sinds1971wordende 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 distillatenvan de verschillende spirit ketels worden nu in één spirit ontvanger met elkaar gemengden gaat de spirit in de vaten.
Tot de distilleerderij behoren drie boerderijen:Muirs, 27 hectare, Pitglassie,60 hectare enAuchanhandoch44 hectare groot.
Op12 Mei 1997wordt de fusie aangekondigd tussenGuinnessen GrandMetropolitanen op22 Oktober 1997wordt de nieuwe naam bekend gemaakt van de gefuseerden:Diageo.
Het water komt van deConval heuvels:vanDykeheadenCatscraig. 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 overleden in 2001.
2005Kapaciteit: 2.800.000 liter spirit per jaar.
October 2005 Diageohas announced that its2005 Annual Rare Malts Selectionwill 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 theSpecial Releasesare now well established, it makes less sence to continue selecting and promoting a parallel series ofRare Maltswith his own separate indentity'.In future, all premium and rare whiskies will be made available in theannual Special Releasesseries.
There are now seven distilleries inDufftown, within a radius of a mile.Mortlachwas the only one until 1887. It was licensed, in1823, 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 distilling. According to a local tradition, recorded in1887, MortlachDistillery was built on the site of an illicit still that drew its water from a spring calledHighland John's Well. Today process water comes from springs in theConval Hillsand cooling water from theRiver Dullan.The applicant for the licence,James Findlater, had obtained a lease of land from theEarlof Macduff.He had two partners in1822-25:Donald McintoshandAlexander Gordon,both ofDufftown. The distillery was advertised for sale in1831, when John Robertson,distiller and tanner, bought it for £270. The excise records, and presumably the distillery, were silent in1832, but in the following year production was resumed by Arthur Thomas Gregory.It closed again in1837.
Some years thereafter, according to a description of the parish ofMortlach, published in theElgin Courantfor21 February 1862:"MortlachDistillery was . . . purchased byMessrs. J. & J. Grant of Glengrant,then distillers atAberlour.This firm took away the distillery apparatus, and the distillery was unoccupied for some years, the barley granary serving in the interval as aFree Churchuntil one was erected inDufftown.Mr. John Gordonthen 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 inLeithandGlasgow,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@��@��0tlpU����`��@`��he distillery." George Cowie (1816-96)became a partner in1853.He was a land surveyor who had helped to survey the new railway lines projected inBanffshire,and subsequently, in the words of his obituarist, "found arduous but pleasant employment in the prosecution of large engineering enterprises inScotlandandEngland". As sole proprietor ofMortlachafterGordon'sdeath in1867,he found scope for his energy in expanding the business and as tenant ofPitglassie Farm,where he bred polledAberdeen Anguscattle. He took an active part in public life as provost ofDufftown, chairman of theSchool Board of Mortlach, chairman of the Stephen Cottage Hospitaland 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 atAberdeen Universityand secured a senior medical appointment inHong Kongin1890. Five years later, when his brother died, he came home to take over the family business. He became one of the leadingHighlanddistillers, served on the town council, the county council and was appointed aDeputy Lieutenant for Banffshire.
Major additions to the premises were made in1897, when a siding was built from the railway, nearDufftown Station,right into the distillery. Electric lighting was installed in the following year.Mortlachthen assumed the form described by a contributor to theWine & Spirit Trade Recordin1923.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 in1897". Driving power for the malting and mashing processes was supplied by a newMarshallsteam 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 theGreat War, sold the business toJohn Walker & Sons Ltd., ofKilmarnock, in1923.Mortlachhas been operated as a unit ofScottish Malt Distillers Ltd.,a subsidiary ofThe Distillers Company Limited,since1936. 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,Mortlachstayed open except in 1944.
SMDembarked in the1960son a long-term programme of modernising and re-equipping its distilleries.The cramped lay-out of the site atMortlachand the condition of the old buildings made it necessary to demolish and replan the premises from scratch. In the new distillery, completed in1964,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, in1971,to internal heating by steam.
The site of the complex covers 6 acres (2.4 hectares).SMDowns 12 houses for occupation by employees at the distillery. The company also owns the adjoining Pitglassie Estatewhich 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 BarrScotch Whisky and bottleMortlachas a single malt whisky. HEN HARRIER (Circus cyaneus) At the beginning of this century persecution by keepers meant that theHen Harrierwas a rare sight, restricted to theOrkneysandOuter 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 Trustis a charitable organisation whose aims are to promote the concervation of the wildlife ofScotland. A donation will made to the Trust for every bottle sold. Uitgebracht in1983.
The World's oldest whisky: Distilled on the15th October 1938.bottled at cask strength 46.1 %. 70 years old Released in the"Generations"range Matured in a ex - sherry butt fromCardinal de Salis, Royal Sherry Co, Sherez Bottled on15th October 2008and presented in a tear - shaped crystal decanter, hand blown and nestled in a silver base, framed in a handmadeBrazilian Rosewood box Bottled: 54 Decanters each 10.000 Pounds, and 162 Decanters á 20 cl each 2500 Pounds
April 2013 Diageohas namedTeaninichnearAlnessas the location for its plans to build a new 50 million pound new malt whisky distillery and will be adjacent the existingTeaninichdistillery but will have its own name and indentity and will have the capacity to produce 13 millionlitres of spirit per annum from its 16 stills.
Diageoalso invest 12 million pound in expanding theTeaninichdistillery to almost doubless capacity.The site will also feature a bio - energy plant.The work will begin in2014.
Diageoalso will invest inMortlachdistillery in building a new still house and an other investment will be at Glendullan distillery to process co products in an anaerobic digestion process, producing bio - gas which will be used to power theGlendullandistillery.
There are also expansion and upgrade developments for more then 40 million pound inLinkwood, Mannochmore, Glendullan, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Inchgower, Cragganmore,Glen Elgin, Glen Ord and in a new bio - energie plants inGlenlossieandDailuaine.Also new warehouse are build atClunynearKirkcaldy.And atTalisker 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: 1x 8000 litres, 1 x 8500 litres, 1 x 9500 litres Output: 2.000.000 litres
Diageoto reinventMortlachwith £30m investment Scotland'sbiggest 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 includingBell's, J&B and Johnnie Walker- will pump nearly £30 million into building asecond still houseatMortlachtoreplicate the complex shape of distillery's stills. Up until now, only a few bottles ofMortlachsingle malt have been released to connoisseurs, with the vast majority of production going towards blends.
Next summer, four versions of theScotch- rare old, special strength, 18-year-old and 25-year-old - will be sold to the duty-free and luxury markets. TheFTSE 100 group- which also makesGordon's gin, Guinness stoutandSmirnoff 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 onSpeysideand has now unveiled details of the scheme.
Diageosaid: "Mortlachhas 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'soutput has been largely captured by blenders to add its unique notes to complex blendedScotchwhiskies - 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 December, 2013
Diageohas told the trade it will rereleaseMortlachsingle malt scotch next year, a dram dubbed"The Beast of Dufftown". In recent years the Speysidedistillery's heavy, dark whisky was reserved for blending and has only been made available in very limited numbers as a single malt, but theDufftownsite will now see capacity doubled from 3.8m to 7.6m litres in a project costing £18m.
From mid-2014the distillery will be renewed and expanded, while the re-branded single-malt will be made available in global markets. Mortlachsingle 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. Diageowill continue to use the distillery's output for its blended whiskies. Details of distribution and price will be disclosed in February2014.
Rare Old(43% abv) will have an "affordable luxury price",Nick Morgan, head of whiskies outreach atDiageo, toldDrinks 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 ofRare 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, saidMorgan.
According toDiageo, Mortlachis produced by an "astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process", which has been explained as'2.81distilled', as most but not all of the whisky is distilled three times. Dave Broom,said ofMortlachsingle malt in hisThe World Atlas of Whisky (2010): "At its best in European oak - it has the muscle to cope -Mortlachhas 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 beforeDufftowneven existed, is at the foundation of many famous blends. It is the dark reduction of whisky to some primal essence."
Diageohas released details and images ofMortlach, the"reborn"single malt that is dubbed"the beast of Dufftown"and which will be launched this summer. The guide price forMortlach Rare Oldis £55,Mortlach18 year old is £180, andMortlach25 year old is £600. In global travel retail,Special Strengthwill be £75. The group says that limited supply - at least until expansion ofMortlach'sdistillery is complete - means the bottles will be50cl.For legal reasons, they will be 75cl in the US. The range will first be available inLondonandBerlinin June, and in a small number of global travel retail channels. They will then roll out in restricted volumes to "the cosmopolitan cities ofAsia-Pacificin August (for exampleTaipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne)and at the same time toNew York, ChicagoandSan Franciscoin theUnited States."
Diageoadded: "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-ownerScottishcivil engineerGeorge Cowie,and sonDr 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 notablyBenrinnesandDailuaine]none haveMortlach’sweight, meaning that this @��@��0tlpU����`��@`��alt bottlings bar the occasional independent bottlings (most notably withGordon & MacPhail)and small batches of a 16-year-old inDiageo’s Flora & Faunarange.Mortlachseemed destined to remain a cult malt.
In2014,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.
Mortlachwas the name of the original village which sprang up around the abbey of the name, founded bySaint Moluagin the7th century. With the building ofDufftownin 1817the old name fell in abeyance – apart from the distillery.
The distillery was the first to be licensed withinDufftown, being founded byJames Findlater, Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon in 1823. It passed briefly into the hands of theGrant brothers of Glen Grantfame who gutted the buildings and used the equipment for their distillery inRothes.
It wasGeorge Cowieand his sonAlexanderwho, from the1850son, recommenced whisky production and steeredMortlachto 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 singlesMortlachout as one of the distilleries with a robust belief in the older ways of making whisky.
It remained in theCowie’shands until1923when it became part ofJohn Walker & Sonsand from there viaDCLintoDiageo.
In2014,it was announced that a mirror image of the existing distillery would be built which, when completed, will double total capacity.
James Findlater, Donald Mackintosh and Alex GordonfoundMortlach
Findlatersteps back from the project, leaving the distillery toGordonandMackintosh
John RobertsonpurchasesMortlachfor £270, who then sells is toA&T Gregorythe following year
Grant brothers,James and John,become part-owners and g0t the distillery
George Cowiebecomes part owner, and takes over sole operation whenJohn Alexander Gordondies in1867
Cowie's son, Alexander,joins the company and two years later extends Mortlach'sstills from three to six
John Walker & Sons purchase the distillery from theCowies
The group becomes part ofDistillers Company Limited
Mortlachhalts use of its floor maltings
Four new bottlings are released asDiageoannounces plans to extend the distillery
CONDENSER TYPE i
FERMENTATION TIME i
Minimum 53hrs - 100 hrs
FILLING STRENGTH i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
MALT SPECIFICATION i
MALT SUPPLIER i
Mainly in house
MASH TUN TYPE i
NEW-MAKE PHENOL LEVEL i
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
6 (1 intermediate)
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
WASHBACK TYPE i
WATER SOURCE i
Conval Hills Spring
WORT CLARITY i
YEAST TYPE i
1997 - present
1986 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1925 - 1986
John Walker & Sons
1923 - 1925
George Cowie & Son
1867 - 1923
John Gordon and George Cowie
1853 - 1867
1842 - 1853
1837 - 1842
1832 - 1837
1831 - 1832
Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon
1824 - 1831
James Findlater, Donald Mackintosh and Alex Gordon
1823 - 1824
PRE-WAR MORTLACH COULD FETCH £20,000
A 60-year-old bottle ofMortlachsingle malt, distilled in1938and bottled in1999,could fetch up to £20,000 when it is auctioned bySotheby’snext week.
Mortlach 1938 60-year-old
Pre-war bottling: ThisMortlach60-year-old was distilled onSpeysidein1938
Matured and bottled byGordon & MacPhail, it is bottle number 19 out of a run of 100, packaged in an etched glass decanter with an embossed wax seal over cork, contained in a wood, copper and brass presentation casket.
Also included is an introductory leaflet, and a separate drawer containing a 5cl miniature of the whisky, a glass stopper, a brass padlock and keys, and a pair of lint-free gloves.
The bottle ofMortlach60-year-old, with a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-20,000, will be sold bySotheby’sinLondonnext Wednesday (15 November), as part of itsFinest andRarest Winessale.
The sale also features the cellar of the estate ofAntal Post de Bekessy, grandson of American socialiteMarjorie Merriweather Post,including a ‘staggering’ collection of wines fromDomainede laRomanée-Conti, Rousseau and Méo-Camuzet.
MORTLACH RELAUNCHES MALTS AFTER BACKLASH
Diageois relaunching itsMortlachrange of single malts, and reintroducing a 16-year-old expression, after admitting its previous range‘disappointed’whisky fans.
New Mortlachsingle malt range
Malt makeover:Mortlach’snew range features completely new liquid and revised prices
TheScotchproducer had introduced a high-end range of no-age-statement malts in 50cl bottles for itsSpeysidedistillery in 2014, withdrawing the 16-year-old expression that existed as part ofDiageo’s Flora and Faunarange.
The range drew criticism from whisky fans who ‘weren’t happy about the smaller bottle sizes, and the prices that went with those bottle sizes as well’.
NowDiageohas reimagined itsMortlachoffering, discontinuing the previous range and introducing four new expressions, including a 16-year-old.
Rich Walker, global head of whisky marketing atDiageo,said: ‘When we launchedMortlachin2014we were looking to create a new category. However, we heard from many people we respect and admire that when it came to price and pack we got it wrong.
‘Whilst every whisky we have launched fromMortlachhas always been welcomed and indeed won awards, it was felt that we needed to listen and review our position.’
Mortlach’sprevious range was comprised ofRare Old(£55),Mortlach18 Year Old (£180),Mortlach25 Year Old (£600) and the travel retail exclusiveSpecial Strength(£75).
The ornate bottles were inspired by theVictorianindustrial era in tribute toGeorge Cowie,aScottishcivil engineer who built Mortlachas the first distillery inDufftownin1823.
‘We have now rethought the range and this is our response to that feedback,’Walkeradded. ‘We are confident that this outstanding new liquid which is bold in flavour and will deliver success for the brand moving forwards.’
The new range is comprised of three core range expressions – a 12-, 16- and 20-year-old release – as well as a 14-year-old which will be a travel retail exclusive. All four expressions have been bottled at 43.4% abv – the original bottling strength ofMortlachin the early 1900s– and presented in the same bottle asMortlach Rare Old.
Mortlach ‘Wee Witchie’12 Year Old is a ‘meaty, sulphury’ expression matured in American and European oak ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks to ‘showcaseMortlach’sdistillery character’.
Described as having notes of chocolate, marmalade and tobacco, it will be available for £50 for a 70cl bottle.
Mortlach ‘Distiller’s Dram’16 Year Old has been matured in a mixture of refill and first-fill American and European oak Sherry casks, and is described as ‘more balanced than theFlora and Fauna16 Year Old’. The expression will be available for around £80 for a 70cl bottle.
Mortlach ‘Cowie’s Blue Seal’20 Year Old is named after one of the original bottlings ofMortlachdating back to1909, which was also the inspiration for the new range’s design.
Matured exclusively in American oak ex-Sherry casks, with a percentage of refill wood, the expression has waxy notes of overripe fruit, wood spice and oak. The expression will be available for £200 for a 70cl bottle.
Finally,Mortlach Alexander’s Way14 Year Old, named after former distillery ownerAlexander Cowie, will be released as a global travel retail exclusive.
Unusually unique:The ‘Beast of Dufftown’distils its spirit2.81times, creating a waxy, meaty style of whisky
Nick Morgan,head of whisky outreach atDiageo,said:‘Mortlachof course is known as theBeast of Dufftown– big bold uncompromising whisky, totally atypical of thatSpeysidestyle of apples and pears.’
Mortlachdistillery is unique in that it distils its spirit2.81times, a complicated process known as‘The Way’.
Mark Brunton, Mortlachdistillery manager, added: ‘We worked with our colleagues in maturation to create a diverse range with each at its heart still reflecting the bold distillery flavour.
‘The 16-year-old is a classicMortlachexpression, while the 12-year-old offers a strong distillery character through its use of refill casks. The 20-year-old offers a balance of character and distillery character with active wood.’
The new range will be released across Europe, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the US this autumn.
THE MORTLACH CONUNDRUM
Some people sayMortlachis distilled2.7times, but2.81is the official figure.
How does it work? There’s an account on theMortlachwebsite, but it only takes you so far. Far better is the dissection of the process in this site’s redoubtable Whiskipedia reference resource or that contained in the Chief Engineer’s The World Atlas of Whisky – but, before you click away or rush to your nearest bookshop, let me try to explain.
Mortlachhas six stills of various shapes and sizes – it’s as if the distillery owner picked up this bizarre collection at a car boot sale or via late-night bids on eBay.
Two out of the six operate conventionally: one is a wash still, carrying out the first distillation, and the second is the spirit still, carrying out the second distillation. This pair of stills creates one spirit stream.
Four stills left: two of these are wash stills, two are spirit stills. The wash stills carry out the first distillation for our second and third spirit streams.
What they produce is then split between the remaining two spirit stills: 80% of it goes into one spirit still, making our second spirit stream. Meanwhile, the remaining, rather weak 20% goes into the last still – a tiny contraption known as the ‘Wee Witchie’.
This 20% is distilled in the Wee Witchie three times, and the middle cut taken after the third distillation, creating our third spirit stream.
Combine these three spirit streams (all condensed using worm tubs, by the way) and you have a supremely meaty, sulphurous spirit popularly known as the ‘Beast of Dufftown’.
It’s challenging, it’s old school (aptly, as Mortlach is Dufftown’s oldest distillery) and it’s prized for its huge potential longevity, particularly in European oak.
Honest mistake:Diageorelaunched its Mortlach range after admitting its previous series failed to hit the mark with fans.
The set up of the stillroom and the unique process all comes back to the vision of Fr.Alexander Cowie,the son of distillery ownerGeorge Cowie, who returned from working inHong Kong
and wanted to create a bold whisky with ots of strong flavours. In 1896 he increased the numer of stills from four to six, all of them with different shapes and sizes, and introducedMortlach'sunique2.81distillation process. A bit like having three distilleries in one building and pretty mind - blowing how it was dreamt up.
The 2.81 process involves splitting the wash or low wines by 80 % and 20 % between spirit stills one and two. The 20 % made up of weak feints, goes into spirit still number one, named
Wee Witchie. The Wee Witchie distills the weak feints 3 times, but only produces spirit from the final run. The weaker charges, known as "dud runs" are distilled off without removing
spirit from them, and so help to build up the strenght for the spirit charge.
Although theWee Witchieis the smallest still, 7800 litres, its role is fundamental toMortlach'smuscular meaty flavours.
The Wee Witchiestill was named so by former distillery managerJohn Winton,who later went on to become a distillery inspector and during a site visit he said Äye that's the Wee
Witchie in the corner, you need to have one run of spirit from the No.one spirit still in every filling atMortlachto give the whisky its character.
Each still has iys own worm tub sitting outside the distillery and also here no two are the same shape or size.
Worm tubes are not as efficient as shell and tube condensors, but are very important in defining the whisky's character, it's determinded by using a lot of cold water that condenses
the vapour quickly and reduces the amount of copper contact so giving the whisky a more meaty, sulphury note.
MORTLACH UNVEILS 47 YEAR OLD FOR £10,000
Speyside distillery Mortlach is launching its oldest single malt whisky to date, a 47-year-old expression priced at £10,000 a bottle.
Mortlach 47 Year Old whisky
Singing Stills: Mortlach 47 Year Old is the first expression in the distillery’s new series
Only 94 bottles of Mortlach 47 Year Old will be released on 9 April, through a global online registration exclusively with wine and spirits merchant Justerini & Brooks, for £10,000 each in the UK.
Whisky enthusiasts can also register for one of 47 places to sample the expression at tasting experiences in London and Singapore on the eve of the opening of the global registration (8 April) through the Exceptional Whisky website.
Mortlach 47 Year Old was matured in one of three refill American oak hogsheads – the final 1971 casks from the distillery – before being bottled at 46.8% abv.
Described as containing ‘orchard and tropical fruits’ on the nose and ‘soft, ripe fruits with an intriguing combination of sweet and sour notes’ on the palate, the release marks the first expression in Mortlach’s Singing Stills series, a collection of ‘rare’ single cask expressions.
The collection is named after Mortlach’s copper stills, which use a highly complicated 2.81 distillation process and generate a ‘whimsical’ hum when in use.
Master blender Dr Craig Wilson said: ‘Mortlach stands alone and is referred to as “The Beast of Dufftown” for its uncompromising flavour profile, so unusual for Speyside whiskies.
‘This bottling is exquisite for its age and is unmistakably Mortlach, with its intensely complex character and well-balanced flavour profile.’
One bottle of Mortlach 47 Year Old (bottle number 8) will also be auctioned at a private event by Bonhams in Singapore on 25 March.
Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the event’s private charity partner, Daughters of Tomorrow, which provides support and skills education for underprivileged women to earn a living for themselves and their families.
Those interested in the ballot can register their details on the Justerini & Brooks website between 9-23 April.
Registration for the tasting experience opens between 19-31 March, with all spaces allocated by 1 April.