Mortlach 20 Year “Cowie’s Blue Seal” Single Malt Scotch
For years I have waited for this day— and now it has finally arrived.
Mortlach’s spirit has for decades been largely captured by Diageo to blend away into Scotch whisky— specifically, Johnnie Walker Blue.
Now for the first time in Milwaukee—exclusively at Waterford Wine Company—is a distiller’s edition bottling of the 20 year old. This is the first time (that I know of) that Mortlach has released a 20 year directly from the distillery. Ours is a rare and unique opportunity to drink the legend of Mortlach.
Mortlach has been described by whisky connoisseurs as “The Beast of Dufftown” for its rich and powerful flavors, produced in an astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process.
In 1823 Mortlach was the first distillery to be built at Dufftown, now one of the epicenters of Speyside whisky distilling. Its most eminent owners were the entrepreneurial Scottish civil engineer George Cowie and his gifted and equally ambitious son, Dr. Alexander Cowie.
A local newspaper wrote: “There is not perhaps a distillery in Scotland that has so many private customers as Mortlach from which spirits are sent not only over the three kingdoms to families, but to America, India, China and Australia, in all of which Mr. Cowie has customers who prefer his distillation to all others …” (The Elgin Courant, 1869).
Harnessing his entrepreneurial energies and scientific background to oversee the development of Mortlach, Alexander paved the way for the unique distillation system that creates the highly complex and richly flavored whisky that is celebrated today:
Mortlach opens with a rich nose of blackcurrant, dried sherry fruits, touches of last night’s bonfire and warm chocolate, ever so slightly melted over a cinnamon-sugar biscuit. It has the cut and drive that you will recognize— Mortlach is truly the main component of Johnnie Walker Blue, and you can feel it. T he luxurious, supple, creamy mouth-coating character of Blue, yet with more: There is a depth of power in reserve here, like Robert the Bruce delivering one of his most rousing speeches for the Great Cause.
It has been years in the making, I have been years in the waiting, but you shouldn’t be. This is one great dram.