Diageo to release four Mortlach single malt whiskiesBy Becky Paskin
Diageo has revealed plans to release four new expressions of little-known single malt Scotch brand Mortlach this summer.
Currently, the drinks group only releases around 800 cases of Mortlach 16 Year Old annually, with the distillery predominantly used to produce liquid for its blends, such as Johnnie Walker.
However, with an £18 million investment in doubling the capacity of the distillery on the horizon, Diageo is bolstering the brand’s portfolio by introducing four new single malt expressions.
The entry-level whisky will be a Mortlach Rare Old, a no-age-statement marriage of liquid aged in refill and recharred European and American oak, and bottled at 43.3% abv.
A Mortlach 18 Year Old, a combination of first fill and refill European and American oak, will follow, while a limited 25 Year Old Mortlach made from whisky aged in refill American hogsheads will complete the domestically-available range.
An additional global travel retail exclusive, Mortlach Special Strength – a 49% abv version of Mortlach Rare Old that is “astonishingly different”, will be available in key markets including the US, UK, France, Asia Pacific, Taiwan and China.
All four expressions, which will be permanent additions to the range, will be released in the summer, with RRPs for all four available in the new year.
Nicholas Morgan, head of whisky outreach for Diageo, said Mortlach’s unique distillation process, which effectively distils the liquid 2.81 times, has ensured the brand is “held in high regard”.
He added that the range will target the “luxury connoisseur market” with all four expressions placed int he “premium end of malt whisky”.
Diageo, which plans to invest £1 billion in increasing its Scotch whisky production over a five-year period, plans to spend £18m in replicating the existing still house to effectively double its annual capacity to 7.6 million litres of alcohol.
Construction is expected to begin in the new year, with the second still house producing liquid in 2016.