Mortlach 13 Year Diageo 2021 Special Release

Scotch Whisky Review #355: Mortlach 13 Year Diageo 2021 Special Release

Distillery: Mortlach.

Region: Speyside.

Age: 13 Year.

ABV: 55.9%. Cask Strength.

Cask Type: Virgin and refill American oak casks.

Cost: Sample courtesy of /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH.

Color: 0.5, Yellow Gold.

This is the 20th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the 2020 edition here and 2019 edition here.


Nose: It’s very, very light here. There’s a touch of fruit in lemon and redcurrant jam. The main note, however, is that of wood varnish.

Palate: It’s quite simple. There’s a lot of sugar, a bit of lemon, and a ton of oak. The virgin oak casks are rearing their head here with far too much oak contribution.

Finish: Medium in length. The finish reminds me of lemon scented Pine Sol.


Conclusion: Mortlach has this reputation for a meaty mouthfeel but so far, I have yet to find it and it most certainly does not show itself in this Diageo Special Release. Of the lot of them, this Mortlach is the clear disappointment. It’s decent at best, with a bunch of sugar notes to go along with a ton of oak. While I think virgin oak casks can provide something to single malt whisky, this doesn’t seem to be a very good showcase of it. It is a disappointment, but decent enough to drink.

Final Score: 74.


Scotch Whisky Review #355, Speyside Review #128, Whisky Network Review #505


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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