While Mortlach always takes me out of a funk, the HP 18 is the go-to scotch. You really can never go wrong with this one. Yes, the 25, and 30yr old distillery bottlings are a significant step up from the 18, but you really cannot go wrong with it.
The late, great, Michael Jackson's review:
Nose: Warm, notably flowery. Heather-honey, fresh oak, sap, peat, smoky fragrance. Very aromatic and appetising.
Remarkably smooth, firm, rounded. Lightly salty. Leafy (vine leaves?), pine nuts. Lots of flavour development: nuts, honey, cinnamon, dryish ginger.
Whenever I go thru my collection and hit a few disappointments, I go to the top shelf and grab a Mortlach. This 21 year old is not hard to find and is really a great example of that musty old church and graveyard up the hill from the distillery.
A review writes: Mortlach is one of the sherry giants of Speyside, what a reputation to live up to! This 21-year-old expression is a refined take, which adds a great deal of complexity, smoothness and class. The typical characteristics of Mortlach are all there with bracken flavours, herbal notes and an element of dryness on the finish. Aged perfectly, this Mortlach goes unsurprisingly well when sat with glass in one hand and chocolate in the other!
OK. I admit to never having heard of Glencadam. I ran into this when looking at the runners-up in the Scottish Fields Magazine Whisky competition. A 30yr old of this repute - had to try it. ... and a gorgeous bottle too.
Distilled in 1978 and bottled at 46%vol. Comes from a sherry butt and yielded 615 bottles. The nose is better than the taste. Lots of sherry, ripe berries and talcum powder. Very full body and tastes of earthy spice and oranges. Long finish, but a bit bitter - even with a splash of water.
Scottish Field writes: Glencadam is not such a well known distillery but in the past few years its whisky has been quietly gaining a reputation amongst whisky drinkers and has picked up several awards in the process. I have grown fond of its whiskies from the 1970’s and was thrilled when this 30 year old expression was released. Its stylishly designed bottle which is limited to only 615 bottles makes it a rather attractive purchase to collectors but for those who do pop the cork to indulge on its contents certainly will not be disappointed.