Colloquially known as ‘The Beast of Dufftown’ for very good reason. When James Findlater founded Mortlach in 1823, the first distillery in what would eventually become a prolific whisky-producing community, he created a single malt whisky so brutish and audacious in character that no person dare entertain the notion of altering its method of distillation, despite its convolution.
Distillation here is configured in such a way that the No. 1 spirit still – known at the distillery as ‘Wee Witchie’ – is utilized to distill the ‘weak feints’ three times during the same run. The resulting spirit, according to the distillation team, is an aggregated 2.81 times distilled, and drawn diagrammatically is enough to leave you tipsy.
All of this tradition is upheld in order to promote a very meaty and sulfury spirit, which is so important for Diageo’s blending program, the distillery’s owner. As an extreme example of this style, Mortlach has robust body, which means it can withstand prolonged aging without succumbing to the flavor found in the wood in which it is matured, and if less mature or matured in refill casks, retains vibrant smoked-meat characteristics.