All about making whisky
Founded in 1823, Mortlach is allegedly built on the site of a former illicit distillery. It was one of the rare distilleries allowed to produce alcohol during the second world war, right up until 1944. Using partial triple distillation and a traditional “worm tube” condensation system – also used by Talisker and Edradour – Mortlach produces a very delicate distillate. As is the case with many of the distilleries owned by the Diageo group, very few official bottlings of the malt exist outside of the Flora & Fauna and Rare Malts ranges released in the 1990s.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
As its name suggests, the Rare Vintage range is quite simply a collection of rare, old vintages, and includes a substantial number of Gordon & MacPhail’s most sought-after single malts. Closely linked to the Distillery Labels range (the Rare Vintage bottlings also served as semi-official releases for several distilleries which had not had any proper official releases on the market for quite some time), the Rare Vintage bottles are to a large extent responsible for this historic specialist’s reputation.
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