SMWS 76.50 Mortlach 10yo

Now for something a little different for my next review of a 10 year old. The whisky is again from the Speyside region, but it is not a distillery bottling. This time it’s from an independent bottler – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and their bottling of Mortlach 10yo, bottling/cask number 76.50.

SMWS_10_Mortlach_The Smoky Dram 
Whisky: SMWS 76.50 Mortlach 10yo, 59.8% ABV

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: 10 years

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, founded in Edinburgh in 1983, is a membership organisation which bottles and sells single cask, single malt whisky. SMWS purchases individual casks from 129 malt whisky distilleries globally, bottles them and then retails directly to their members.  They also run private members’ rooms in South Africa (SA’s SMWS website) and other international locations. An odd thing about a Society bottling is that they don’t mention the distillery – or at least not in so many words. A number rather than a name denotes each distillery.


Mortlach distillery is found in Dufftown, Scotland with 3 wash stills and 3 spirit stills. Their current capacity is around 2,910,000 litres. Founded in 1823, the creation date is not known for sure, but the licence has been officially delivered in 1823. Amongst the nine distilleries around Dufftown, Mortlach is the oldest one. The second is Glenfiddich, founded by William Grant who was production manager at Mortlach. The distillery is currently owned by Diageo. The whisky is a key component in several Johnnie Walker bottling’s.

Colour: Rich gold to amber.

Nose: An attractive sweet, light and fragrant nose that is beautifully complex. Sweet aromas of vanilla, peppermint crisp chocolate, and fruit cake mix with slight savouriness and smokiness about it like a smoky tea.

Palate: A fairly sharp start (spicy ginger burn on tip of tongue) that drops off very quickly to a sweet, smoky, savoury, and slight spicy palate that coats your mouth. It also has notes of citrus fruits, honey and ginger. The smoke on this is light, not a slap you in the face kind of smoke, making it a very approachable palate.

Body: Medium bodied with lots of thin to medium legs.

Finish: A pleasing lingering dry and warm finish that is sweet and spicy (ginger).

Overall: This is a very approachable and aromatic whisky that has a delightful mouth feel as well as being flavoursome. I would recommend it to anyone who is unsure or wary of trying a whisky from an independent bottler to see what it is all about.

My Score: 87