Tag Archives: Morrison & Mackay

Mortlach 2006 (Càrn Mòr c.6-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 21st June 2017

Ratings:
81/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)
6/10 – Whisky Loving

This Mortlach 2006, 20cl, forms part of the Càrn Mòr Vintage Collection produced by the Scottish Liqueur Centre (now Morrison & Mackay) between 2009 and 2012. Distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2012 (c.6yo), it was the second 20cl to represent the year of 2006. The first was a Glentauchers issued in 2009. Mortlach 2006 is a limited edition of 720, cask 9, non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%.

Although this small bottle of Mortlach came out in 2012 it’s still available on the Morrison & Mackay website for a mere £10. It’s also being sold at Robert Graham and Whisky Castle so it goes to show how long 720 bottles can sometimes take to sell. Perhaps it’s the presentation, 20cl size, or coming from a less known independent bottler that’s kept it lingering on the shelves for so long.

Mortlach has its fans so why hasn’t this bottle sold out? I strongly suspect it’s because of its light colour, which screams ‘refill cask’. What makes Mortlach delightful is spending time in a first-fill sherry cask, soaking up all those wonderful fruity juices and acquiring a beautifully rounded flavour. Seeing a light Mortlach doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, you just know it’s not going to be as good as it can be.

81/100 on Whiskybase from one member is a good score but 6/10 from Whisky Loving seems rather low. They say of the palate “rough notes. Citrus and some orchard fruits. Fruity and sweet. Vanilla and almost floral notes”. They also mentioned vanilla on the nose, which makes me slightly concerned that it comes from an ex-bourbon barrel. My book on distilleries, published in 2010, makes no mention of ‘vanilla’ in the house style of Mortlach and says they exclusively use ex-sherry casks. But there have been some ex-bourbon releases recently from independent bottlers that suggest Mortlach are now mixing their barrels. It’s a shame the cask type used for this Mortlach 2006 wasn’t disclosed but it is what it is. For me it’s my 24th and final bottle to complete the Càrn Mòr Vintage Collection. Phew!

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Speyside 1999 (Càrn Mòr c.13-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 21st June 2017

Ratings:
None as yet but listed on Whiskybase here.

This Speyside 1999 20cl forms part of the Càrn Mòr Vintage Collection produced by the Scottish Liqueur Centre (now Morrison & Mackay) between 2009 and 2012. Distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2012 (c.13yo) it was the second 20cl to represent the year of 1999. The first was a Craigellachie issued in 2009. Speyside 1999 is a limited edition of 720, cask 323, non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%.

Although this quarter bottle was released as long ago as 2012 it’s still available for £14 from the Morrison & Mackay (M&M) website as I write this post 5 years later. Why? Possibly because not many people know about M&M or the existence of their online shop but mostly because the Speyside distillery is rather boring. The Càrn Mòr Vintage Collection releases of Macallan and Highland Park are long gone but this Speyside 20cl lingers on, unloved and not even worthy of a review on Whiskybase! But a similar 1999 to 2012 bottling by Douglas McGibbon scores 78/100, which is what I’d expect for this Càrn Mòr 20cl.

The Speyside distillery we know today is the second to bear the name. The first opened in 1895 but only lasted a decade before being closed and eventually demolished. The second incarnation began life in 1956 but spirit didn’t start being produced until 1990 some 34 years later. It wasn’t until we reached a new millennium that the first 10-year-old was released in 2001. The house style is medium-bodied, medium-sweet, malt, nutty, fruity and floral.

Glen Moray 1992 (Càrn Mòr c.20-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 21st June 2017

Ratings:
80/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)

Glen Moray 1992 forms part of the Càrn Mòr Vintage Collection produced by the Scottish Liqueur Centre (now Morrison & Mackay) between 2009 and 2012. Distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2012, this c.20yo was the second 20cl to represent the year of 1992. The first was a Glenallachie issued in 2009. The Glen Moray 1992 is a limited edition of 480, cask PP001, non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%.

80/100 on Whiskybase is a good score albeit from only one vote. This Glen Moray is finished in a port cask, which makes it quite unique (more so in 2012). Of the 640 releases of Glen Moray listed on Whiskybase only 6 of them have a port cask finish (although some may be missing the word “port” in their title). The earliest release is from 2009, which is a 14yo cask strength scoring 90.5/100. A distillery bottled 17yo ‘port wood finish’ at 40% scores 87.2/100 from 7 votes, which is an excellent score. I’ve got a good feeling that when more votes come in for my 20yo at 46% they will be greater than 80/100 rather than less. It seems that a Glen Moray with a bit of age goes nicely with some port maturation.

In 2018 I intend to visit the Glen Moray distillery, which is within easy walking distance of Elgin town centre. Elgin is also where the Gordon & MacPhail shop is situated so I’d better make sure I take a full wallet! Glen Moray have a ‘bottle your own’ option at the distillery shop, which is not to be missed. In recent years they’ve been quite experimental with their cask finishes. Not only port and chardonnay but also cider, which sounds intriguing!

Glenburgie 1988 (Carn Mor c.21-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 13th January 2016

Ratings:
83.67/100 – Whiskybase (average from 5 member votes)

This Glenburgie is part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1988 and bottled in 2009, it’s from a limited edition of 1236, Cask No: 9695. Non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%, so the makings of something very pleasant! With a score of nearly 84/100 on Whiskybase from 5 member votes, you’ve got to think this Speyside is a lovely dram.

I’ve currently got 21 of the 24 years that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Unfortunately the 3 years I have left are some of the earliest ones, 1983, 1985 and 1986. Some years had duplicates, which I can only assume was because they ran out and the bottler (‘The Scottish Liqueur Centre’ as it was then) decided to release another expression. Sadly the bottles haven’t been produced for several years and rarely appear at auction. It may be a long time before I complete my set of 24.

Glenburgie 1988 Carn Mor 20cl

Tomatin 1987 (Carn Mor c.24-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 13th January 2016

Ratings:
82.75/100 – Whiskybase (average from 6 member votes)

This Tomatin is part of the 24 x 20cl bottles that make up the Carn Mor Vintage Collection. Distilled in 1987 and bottled in 2011, it’s from a limited edition of 960, Cask No: 494. Non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%, so the makings of something very delightful! Certainly the 6 members who rate it on Whiskybase think so because nearly 83/100 is a very good score.

Thankfully several Whiskybase voters have left their thoughts about this single malt, which include “not bad as a Sunday afternoon drink but this whisky could better be used for a blend”, “faint summer (berries) and orchard (cooking apples) fruits, alongside cereal notes, mingle with raw spirit and a hint of cardboard. Fiery and unrefined on the palate, even after the addition of water. Medium-length finish, with a bit too much bitterness. If tasted blind I would never have put this as a 20+yo malt!” and “the palate is complex, with notes of white fruit, baking spice, dried herbs, and a lingering sense of weed. Every time I have a dram I am transported to an Amsterdam coffee shop in off hours.” With a summary of “I like it very much”.

Weed? Seriously? I can’t say it’s a smell I’m familiar with but it goes to show how different people find different things depending on their experiences. This Tomatin is at least 23 years old so it has had a lot of maturing, even if one reviewer found that hard to believe. It’s clearly got a lot going on and an interesting whisky to try.

Tomatin 1987 Carn Mor 20cl

Glen Grant 1993 (Carn Mor c.16-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 9th September 2015

Ratings:
80/100 – Whiskybase (average from 2 member votes)

This is my 18th 20cl of the Carn Mor Vintage Collection, a set of 24 quarter bottles of 24 different whiskies, each covering a separate year of distillation between 1983 and 2006. Unfortunately the 6 I’m missing are all early ones from the 1980s, which are practically impossible to find. Sometimes I stumble across a bottle or two online from Italy or Denmark but they never ship to the UK. I will have to wait patiently and see if any appear in future whisky auctions.

Although 80/100 from two reviews on Whiskybase might not sound very promising a reviewer has kindly included their tasting notes and they’re quite complimentary. They say of the taste “barley again (also in the nose), citron-sweet, alcohol, bitter-soft, metal, fish, canned fish, old coins, copper, spruce, resin, polish, wax, soft liqorice, old water, fat, old, metal, peach-very ripe, white peach” and summarises with “nice whisky, but I think the metallic notes seem to come from a rushed distillation. A pity, because the rest of flavours is actually quite nice!”

Glen Grant 1993 Carn Mor 20cl

Macduff 1991 (Carn Mor c.21-year-old)

Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 9th September 2015

Ratings:
84/100 – Whiskybase (average from 5 member votes)

I’m always delighted to find a new source for whisky. Morrison & Mackay (M&M) started business in 2014 and are home to the Carn Mor collection (formerly produced by the Scottish Liqueur Company of which the Morrison and Mackay families were stakeholders, I believe). My eyes lit up when I saw they had 20cl bottles from the Carn Mor Vintage Collection, a set of 24 years covered by 24 whiskies (and subsequent replacements when certain years ran out). They’d been released for several years before I started collecting whisky in 2013 so I was a bit late to the party. I got 16 of the 24 before sources ran out. I acquired my last example in June 2014 and thought I’d only find the rest at auction, until now.

Things didn’t start well for me using M&M. I was over-the-moon to discover that the 1998 Miltonduff had been replaced by a Highland Park 20cl (one of my favourite whiskies) so I added 2 bottles to my basket. It took 5 days for someone at M&M to reply to me to say the HP was out of stock. 5 days! And their website shows 4 people working in sales so it’s not like they’re short staffed. They asked if I wanted a replacement or a refund so I asked for a Macduff and a Glen Grant. They were slightly more expensive than the HP but, since they were my 2nd choice, it was only fair that M&M agreed to supply them at a lower price.

84/100 on Whiskybase is a very good score. One reviewer says of the taste “malty. Not as fruity as on the nose. Instead more delicate and gentle oakiness developing into more bitterness. Later on cinnamon and ginger. Also nutiness” and summarises with “not as stunning as those 2000 sherry matured Macduff. The nose is light and clean, the palate more heavy and complex.”

Macduff 1991 Carn Mor 20cl