Tartan Mortlach 7 year

La Maison Du Whisky: Tartan : Mortlach 7 (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 7 Years: 40% ABV)

Visual: Very pale, coloured like apple juice.

Viscosity: Fast medium streaks.

Nose: Apples and pears. Fiery. Light oak. White wine. Water adds pepper and more pears, plus a note of cookie dough sweetness.

Body: Creamy. Tannins. Pepper and fire. Vanilla. Water adds more pepper and some oak. Slight cookie dough, white chocolate and banana comes out.

Finish: Oaken and pepper. Creamy. Very creamy coffee. Light apples. Cookie dough. Light nuts.

Conclusion: Young whisky is always interesting, as it seems to rely on having enough character to overcome the fire. This is quite surprising in that rather than matching the fire with a similarly intense flavour and sharp notes, it instead goes for a very restrained and mellow character.

Neat I didn’t find it very interesting, partially for that reason, it was quite peppery with a few traditional speyside pear and apple notes, but it was lost behind the fire. There was a slight white wine note, but not much so.

Water and time brings the whisky much more into balance, the water reins the fire in somewhat. There is now a soft sweetness that you can finally notice, a soft of soft cookie dough. It really is not intended as a huge whisky, the pepper spice still leads the whisky in and out, but you get more time with the relaxing mid point.

Here it is very easy going, very gentle, with just the right amount of water you get a light almost ethereal experience, where you get the delicate sweet and fruit notes. It calls to mind the light end of the cream liqueurs market with make spirit fruitiness.

I tend to be more towards the big and booming whisky, but given enough time this really grew on me – very well crafted for the gentle style, it feels like one that you could have over a long conversation and enjoy every moment. It needs just the right time, water and circumstance, but when you get it there is a fine whisky for that moment.

Background: It was 48 hours before Burn’s Night. So time for some whisky tasting at Independent Spirit. This was the first of five whiskys on offer that night. Due to it being a group tutored tasting this is much more likely to be influenced by other opinions due to the power of suggestivity. Still, a chance to try a bunch of new whisky was far too good to pass up.

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