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1954 Gordon & Macphail Rare Vintage Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 43%
Amongst the nine distilleries around Dufftown, Mortlach meaning 'bowl-shaped valley", is the oldest. The second is Glenfiddich, founded by William Grant who was production manager at Mortlach.The distillery was created by James Findlater and two of his friends, Donald McIntosh and Alexander Gordon on a ground hired from the Earl of Mactuff. The creation date is not known for certain, but the license was officially delivered in 1823 making it the first legal distillery in Dufftown. Mortlach was later taken over by John Gordon who marketed its whisky under the name "The real John Gordon". More recently, the distillery has been sold to Johnnie Walker & co. Walker joined DCL which became SMD before being integrated with UDV. A new distillery was built in 1964, but the old stills were still used. Presently, Mortlach is owned by Diageo. It remains a key component for the Johnnie Walker blends.
Mortlach’s main claim to fame is that it was the first of seven distilleries to be built in and around Dufftown. The distillery operates a unique distillation process which distills the spirit 2.5 times. This, combined with the worm tubs used to condense the spirit, gives the whisky the complexity for which it is renowned.
This also makes the whisky suitable for longer ageing. Unlike most distilleries in Scotland, Mortlach was given permission to remain in production during most of World War II, with Gordon & MacPhail still maintaining stocks from rare war years.
Other reviews... Nose: Passion fruit and other lovely deep fruits. Some citrus too. Dried apples? After a few minutes some spices emerge - a LOVELY nose that eventually drags it into silver territory. A combination of an (almost) gold nose and a bronze palate. Taste: Fruity and smooth with a touch of something medicinal in the background. Hint of pine too? Fruity evolves to floral after a few minutes. Young wood in the dry finish. Hey, a touch of something peaty? Score: 86 points – Johannes van den Heuvel (www.maltmadness.com)