A Chat With The Ambassador For Dufftown’s Mortlach Distillery
By Kurt Maitland
KM: Why do you think, after many years of the Mortlach being a “hidden gem” in Diageo’s extensive whisky portfolio, has Diageo formally released it as a premium standalone expression?
GB: You’re right. Mortlach has always been one of our hidden gems and it’s exciting that we’re finally letting it out. It’s been a secret amongst whisky connoisseurs across the globe, and considered a secret weapon for blenders for decades. I think we’ve finally recognized this, and are giving it the limelight and recognition it not only deserves, but that it has truly truly earned. In terms of character, there’s no other whisky on the market with that rich robust distillery character created by the 2.81 distillation process and traditional wormtubs, and so there is a perfect space in the ever expanding category for this.
KM: Will the halt in the expansion of the Mortlach distillery affect future releases of the Mortlach single malt expressions?
GB: We remain committed to the long term growth of Scotch whisky. Upgrade work at Mortlach is ongoing and we will proceed with the expansion at the appropriate time. The new luxury range of expressions comes from matured stock and we have strong inventories in place to support the brand and its future growth.
KM: Finally, how has it been being involved in such a high profile, world spanning roll out of a new Diageo expression?
GB: It’s been a very exciting year, and to be involved in the ‘rebirth’ of Mortlach has been a dream (as you can imagine). I’ve been able to spend time up at the distillery getting my head around the production side of things and how, through production, we’re able to create this muscular, meaty style whisky. I’ve found myself travelling to all 4 corners of the globe working with local markets and meeting the most fascinating of people, and introducing the new expressions to whisky fans all over. The response has been incredible!