Mortlach 1984 – 10yo private bottling O. De Bolle

Mortlach 1984 – 10yo private bottling O. De Bolle

No distillery stirred up a fuzz as Mortlach did in the last few weeks. Since Diageo announced the rebranding of The Beast of Dufftown, the blogosphere was sceptic and overjoyed at the same time. It nourished lively debates among bloggers and industry professionals.

On the table is a 1984 Mortlach. A year that was famous for the launch of the iconic  Ferrari Testarossa and the setting of George Orwell's classic work. And it happens to be my year of birth too. Lucky me.

It matured for 10 years in ex-bourbon casks and was bottled in honour of the 35th anniversary of Belgian company O. De Bolle.

And that's about all that is known about this sample. Not even my beloved information officer (Google) could give me more intel on this private bottling. I'll just have to taste it.

Identity Card Mortlach 1984

  • Independent bottling from Mortlach Distillery (Speyside)
  • Distilled 1984, bottled 1994
  • 10-year-old single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 43% ABV
  • bottled for the 35th anniversary of the company O. De Bolle

Good old Mortlach and yet still young

Tasting notes

Colour: Ten years of maturation in ex-bourbon casks gave it a pale yellow colour. The tears are quite slow and show a promising texture.

Nose: It starts off very soft. This one definitely needs some time in the glass to develop. I'm mainly getting notes of vanilla, rice pudding and some dissolvent. It takes at least 15 minutes before the typical bourbon cask flavours appear: bananas, coconut and pears. The whisky develops into perfumy notes. I'm picking up roses, potpourri and pine wood.
Water has very little influence on the nose.

Taste: A light sourness hits the palate. Chardonnay grapes that haven't seen enough sun. Wood notes, banana and vanilla flavoured rice pudding.
A few drops of water diminish the acidity.

Finish: Short and dry. A trocken Mosel wine. In the end, there's a hint of old gym shoes we all had to wear as kids (Not a pleasant memory.).


This was a one-shot sample. Too bad because it was a damn good whisky. Only ten years old but with a beautiful complexity. And I would never say no to a glass of 1984 liquid.

I'll never know who O. De Bolle was or what he did for a living, but he bottled some fine whisky.