I happen to be quite fond of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It was he who wrote (and it was recorded in the volume Letters and Papers from Prison): “We have learned a bit too late in the day that action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibility.”
These are words that we need not decipher, being that we know this objecting Lutheran pastor’s end at the Nazi gallows for having a role in the infamous Valkyrie plot. He’d preached for so long what was imminent, and he knew that while God’s grace was priceless, talk was cheap unless followed by action, that is, “readiness for responsibility.”
I suppose I felt as though I could at least tip my Lutheran hat to dear Dietrich while writing this review because, in particular, it would seem that while so many prominent theologians took the platforms both for and against Hitler, Bonhoeffer, during his time, chose wisely, remained relatively obscure to the world stage (although well respected by those who knew him), and paid the ultimate price.
Wholly unrelated, I know, and yet fractionally similar, the servants of Mortlach appear to have been faced with the opportunities of thought and self-preservation, but have chosen wisely and (at this point in history) with very little acknowledgement in the whisky world.
I should mention immediately that it is quite rare that my tasting notes will align with the label’s description. This is the first time my notes and the bottle’s iteration were in tandem.
Most whisky label author’s attempt to be honest, but often get lost in flowery words that the whisky might meet several taste preferences. The Mortlach’s author did not venture to embellish. Like Bonhoeffer, when you experience this edition, you know exactly what you are getting.
Truly, the nose wafts an incense of raspberries and peaches. Not so much the oak, although, there is the sense that it is hovering below and just out of reach.
The palate offers the tantalizing heft of the oaky spice and what I discerned to be something along the lines of a “Lindt” cherry cordial, giving both the rich milk chocolate and the syrupy cherried center. I’ve never liked cherry cordials, but here in the integrous heart of a stalwart whisky, I am convinced that they deserve to exist.
The finish is medium, bordering on the edge of short. It’s here that the fruitiness resonates and the spice palls the tongue and throat with a warm caress — brief but exquisite.
As I inferred before, it may seem to be a bit of a stretch to consider Bonhoeffer in this review, but I guess I want the reader to know that I am offering hearty well wishes to the folks at this obscure but almost certainly up-and-coming distillery. Even more so do I wish to communicate to the Mortlach folks that in the years to come, if need be, I will happily stand beside them on the tasters’ gallows and herald the truth if such responsibility is required of me.