Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Mortlach Gordon & MacPhail Binny's Exclusive Bottling 19 Year Single Malt Scotch

- $90 (Originally $160)
- 116.8 Proof
- 19 Years
- 1st Fill Sherry Butt
- Speyside

It's been quite a while since I last reviewed a Scotch on here. Scotch is where I started in whiskey, but I eventually gravitated to bourbon and rye, which I quickly learned to love. And, given the plethora of great bottles and easy access, it's where I've stayed for the most part.

However, when Binny's marked this bottle down to $90 from $160 as an End of Bin sale, I couldn't help but add this one to my collection. It has all the earmarks of a Scotch I would love -- from the Speyside region, cask strength and sherry finished. Never mind the fact that it's a 19 year single malt for only $90!!  At that price, and considering what's in the bottle, I figured I could't possibly go wrong.

On the nose I immediately got candy-type sweetness, with a lot of caramel and honey. It was more of that rich, burnt sugary note. That seemed to pair with something fruity and sweet, but that fruit flavor seemed to go in two different directions. On one end I got a distinct melon note, like cantaloupe. On the other end, I got a bright and fresh raspberry note, which I'm sure is from the sherry. It also had a bit of a sweet pipe tobacco note that added just a touch of earthiness. All in all, it smelled amazing.

On my first sip, the first thing I noticed was how super rich and buttery it was. This Scotch was thick and oily, and seemed to immediately coat my mouth with flavor. Up front I got a lot of brown sugar, but it wasn't as heavy. There was a golden honey note that seemed to keep that sweetness on the lighter end. I also got a decent amount of yeast or bready notes that worked really well with the brown sugar and honey.

It wasn't all sweet, though. The grain seemed to come through, and with the buttery texture reminded me of Ritz crackers. I also got a slight pepper spice that seemed to become more prominent as I made my way through the bottle.

Of course, I got a lot of fruit-forward notes. I didn't get the cantaloupe I got on the nose, but I did get a lot of fresh red raspberry and even strawberry. It was certainly on the sweeter end of the berry spectrum. Those honey flavors that seemed to carry throughout each sip complemented these fruity notes nicely.

Unfortunately, the proof seemed to get in the way a bit. Though I tend to love high proofed whiskeys, in this instance the burn seemed to magnify the peppery spice and detract from the bright raspberry and honey notes that I wanted more of. It seemed to just overwhelm those lighter, brighter flavors. I did find that with a solitary, small ice cube I enjoyed this much more.

Grade: B+

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