We like the folks at Signatory. Andrew and his team know good whisky and we’re very pleased they sometimes let us into their warehouses to choose some casks. Our latest four TWE-exclusive drams have just landed – here’s what I thought:
Nose: Sharp aromatics leap out of the glass immediately after pouring – green leaves, freshly cut grass, and sweet and sappy oak – but they quickly burn off to reveal more sweetness underneath. Toffee and butter shortbread are joined by lemon drizzle cake, mixed fruit jam, apple sauce and thickly buttered fruit loaf slathered with lemon curd.
Palate: Intense sweetness fades to reveal savoury notes – oatcakes and dry toast. Sweetness builds again, with toffee and spiced apple purée becoming almost overpowering, before revealing a core of sweet green leaves, caramel and citrus peel. The intensity softens, leaving floral and soft leafy notes.
Finish: Sharp spice fades to honey and green leafiness.
Comment: Intense but worth the ride – layers of sweet and savoury, focusing on the cask character.
Nose: Soft, sweet and earthy peat, with a flash of sea-spray sharpness. Rich sweetness emerges from behind the smoke – malt loaf, sultanas, salted caramel and hints of fruity dark chocolate. Time in the glass reveals lighter flavours of lemon, lime and sweet Muscat grapes.
Palate: Sweet and savoury up front, with salted nuts meeting barley sugar and hints of Parma violets. Rich and earthy peat smoke sits at the core, with a surround of citrus and clove.
Finish: Sharp lime and apple, gravelly smoke and rye crispbread fade to dark chocolate and cinnamon spice.
Comment: Much darker in character than the light colour suggests, with a weighty backbone complemented by zesty and spicy flavours.
Nose: Honeysuckle, candy necklaces, Victoria sponge, rose water, Battenberg cake and hints of freshly cut grass. Biscuity notes build – Nice and custard creams vie for attention – along with resinous and sappy touches. Spicy candied ginger sits at the back.
Palate: The floral notes from the nose burst on to the palate, with a side order of toasted raisin bagels and creamy butter. Sharper and sweeter flavours develop, with autumn leaves, grass and bark balanced by golden syrup and lemon sherbert.
Finish: Woody spices fade to green leaves and sweet earthy notes.
Comment: Light, delicate and floral on the nose, with a kick of complexity on the palate.
Nose: Concentrated raisins with fragrant brown sugar – touches of Eccles and lardy cakes – with cherry jam. Sharper notes of varnished and polished oak tables provide contrast, but are balanced by barley sugar, sweet-shop notes of melting Wham bars and Refreshers chews, and sweet spice – cinnamon sugar and clove pastilles.
Palate: Thick sweetness on the front of the tongue, fading to spicy bitterness at the back. Lashings of sweet and bitter orange sit in the middle, with mouth-puckering citrus oil and creamy orange-fondant touches. Underneath the citrus is a darker layer, with sappy driftwood, rich riverbank earth and crackling autumn leaves providing foundation.
Finish: Brown sugar fades to spicy fruit cake.
Comment: The four-and-a-half years of maturation in a sherry cask has given this layers of dark fruit, but Mortlach’s weighty spirit character still pokes out from behind.
These, as well as the last few remaining bottles of our previous exclusives, are available from The Whisky Exchange website.