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Relaunch of old Speyside favourite Mortlach is sure to excite whisky aficionados

It’s often described as one of the Scotch industry’s most unique distilleries. Now, the makers of Mortlach single malt whisky have unveiled three new bottlings, providing a closer look at the spirit of this intriguing Speyside distillery.

Published: July 25, 2018
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In a move that the brand say will “delight flavour seekers”, the three new expressions will offer a bigger meatier alternative to the smoother, gentler style of whisky traditionally associated with the region.

Produced using a uniquely complex production process known as “The Way” by Mortlach’s distillers, the precise 2.81 distillation is a closely guarded secret, with this distincitve approach to distilling spirit remaining unchanged since it was invented by Dr Alexander Cowie in 1896.

It is this process, the brand’s team say, which helps to create Mortlach’s distinct and thick character spirit, which has earned it the nickname, “The Beast of Dufftown”.

The first expression, the 12-year-old “Wee Witchie” has been named for the distillery’s most famous still and has been matured in ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, while the 16-year-old Distiller’s Dram (an age which has previously been a fan favourite) is matured exclusively in ex-sherry casks.

The final expression, the 20-year-old Cowie’s Blue Seal, named for one of the original bottlings of Mortlach created by the founding family, is also matured in ex-sherry casks.

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Dr Craig Wilson, master blender, said: “These whiskies really stand out in Speyside. For me it’s the way the unique 2.81 process gives you such an intensely complex liquid and character from the minute it comes off the still; it’s like having three distilleries at the one still house.”

Mark Brunton, distillery manager, said: “It’s an honour to work in a distillery with such a distinct heritage. 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 classic Mortlach expression, 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 launched in the autumn.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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