Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Finished in ex-Japanese whisky and Pinot Noir
Additional coloring: No
Average price: € 300.00
Official website: www.malts.com
Another regular fixture in Diageo’s recent Special Releases, Mortlach’s overpriced NAS, which this time sees an unprecedented finishing in ex-Kanosuke casks, a distillery that has been producing whisky in Kagoshima Prefecture since 2017, and ex-pinot noir casks, a truly curious combination.
The origin of the label of this ‘Katana’s Edge’ in this case is rather obvious, referring to the glow of the blade caused by the moonlight reflected off the katana piercing the darkness, precisely crafted as an expression of elegance and craftsmanship: you can’t slice bread with the bottle though…
On the nose, the wine’s pungent acidity peeps out of the glass first, not too bright but clearly evident, with plenty of red fruits (currants, wild strawberries, cranberries), pink grapefruit and plums. In short, the sharpness gives way to softer notes, vanilla, toffee, fruit tartlets, mango and an inflection of leather emerge. Not very incisive, perhaps the katana needed sharpening.
In the mouth it’s still red fruits that lead the way, with a certain roughness in the background, crushing the sweeter parts to spread chocolate, nuts, liquorice, rhubarb and a touch of pepper. The wine swashbuckles with swagger, letting a few balsamic evocations escape along the length and a timid hint of wood.
Quite long finish of red fruits, pepper, chocolate, pencil shavings and balsamic notes.
An almost unrecognisable Mortlach, which is certainly not a crime in itself, but here the finishing in pinot has eaten away at everything, the contribution of the Japanese casks is not perceived and everything is a little flattened. Perhaps a signature baguette was more appropriate than a katana.