A Mortlach midnight mystery unveils itself in three extraordinary locales in Singapore, Shanghai and New York
Esteemed guests had the opportunity to unlock the secret of the enigmatic single malt through deeply sensorial encounters.
Singapore, Shanghai, New York – these were the places where the bold ventured forth and uncovered a midnight malt through extraordinary events.
Born of science but emerging as art, Mortlach Midnight Malt 30 Year Old was fittingly launched at covert locations where function and vision meets: A forgotten warehouse at a container yard, a former shipyard and an edgy museum.
For the curious explorers, the journey consisted of tangential experiences, each a sensorial trip that uncovered poetic facets of the single malt. Past cryptic codes of 2.81 and the probing investigations that ensued, secrets were revealed and the bottle – deep, rich and bold – was awakened.
Seemingly overnight, in an industrial warehouse at Tanjong Pagar Distripark, a mysterious destination appeared like a mirage in the night. Whisky appreciators were invited to this private members’ venue, dubbed Club 2.81, to experience a single malt just as enigmatic.
Guests were first ushered to the Discovery Lounge, where the Mortlach’s heritage was shared, with tales of how scientific formulas and artful cask selection resulted in a decadent dram. Making the storytelling more vivid was a Mortlach 12 cocktail crafted specially for the visitors.
Moving from history to artistry, guests were greeted by luminous murals from local street artist Zero in the Vision Room. His neon-coloured piece ‘Bold Vibrations’ – combined with guests’ penned messages – was a magnetic expression, just like the 30 Year Old Mortlach.
After a trip through sight and sound, it was time to tease the tastebuds at the Snack Bar. As guests convened at the table, a caged display of three rare Mortlach drams sat locked before them – a 12, 16 and 20 Year Old. The lock combination to the treasured drams laid within the distillery’s formula – 2.81, which represents the precise times the whisky is distilled to achieve its legendary profile.
To accompany these samplings, Austrian chef Stephan Zoisl of Chef’s Table created an upside-down menu, with clever entries that surprised and delighted in equal measure, such as the starter of beef tartare that resembled a lemon pie. The quirky menu delivered the message of boundary-pushing innovation that Dr Alexander Cowie invented in 1896 that became Mortlach’s legacy.
With its many secrets shared, it was time to meet the legend. In the last room, behind slatted doors, the Mortlach 30 Year Old was unveiled. It’s a bottle for the fearless – a prickly nose parts to reveal savoury and faint herbal notes, and the sip is full with apple notes and spice before it concludes with a lingering, peppery sweetness.
A COSMIC MEETING
As the moon waned over The Bund, VIPs in Shanghai gathered at a shipyard area along the river on the day of the autumn equinox. On a day where daylight and night stand equal before descending into longer darker hours, it was fitting to meet the Mortlach 30, which awakened stirring conversations as the evening deepened.
Held over two nights in September, the Midnight Space was set by the Huangpu River. Chinese artist Liu Jiayu, known for her exhilarating multimedia work, welcomed guests with an entrancing digital artwork. The piece featured a 3D scan of a riverbank transformed into light trails, flowing towards the entrance as a brilliant invitation. It spoke of two iconic waterways – that of Huangpu and the River Spey in Scotland, recognising both for their significant impact to the landscape and industries that have formed from their being.
The journey continued with three mysterious objects: A special glass piece held in the hand to reveal the 2.81 process, a steel plate to open a tasting box of the Mortlach family, and an ornate key to ignite the Midnight Malt launch with an exceptional dinner. As guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal, they were led through the Mortlach distillery with live footage by whisky guru Dave Broom and master blender Dr Craig Wilson. The enthusiastic reception outlined the allure of the single malt in China, and heralded an auspicious note to the bottle’s future.
A BOLD APPLE
For a city as epochal as New York, only a bold expression will suffice. On Oct 19, the Mortlach 30 Year Old met with discerning connoisseurs at Fotografiska New York, a renowned photography museum situated in a landmark 1894 building.
Forty guests made up of Diageo private clients, media, designers, gallerists and curators were invited to the transformed space. After viewing artwork customised for the evening and enjoying cocktails of Mortlach signature serves and Mortlach 30, the VIPs were escorted into the museum’s dining destination, Veronika, where dramatic full drapes provided the brand’s colourway of gold and indigo. Before the meal, creation studio Diorama unleashed a lush animation showing a drop of Mortlach making its way through six stills in six chapters – the ripe golden whisky adopting its unabashed beastly character through an exacting process.
After the mains, tasting glasses were placed before the guests, followed by a 30-second stillness – a tribute to the same number of years it took for the Mortlach team to arrive at its richest expression to date. Diageo national director Ewan Morgan led diners through the sampling before hosting them for an extended iteration at the Chapel Bar. There, guests could find a menu of Diageo’s luxury serves along with the Mortlach 30 and more intimately uncover the dram with Mr Morgan in the confessional. It was a rare opportunity to sample the limited single run, released in batches of only 350 annually, and to experience the bold profile.
Limited number of bottles of Mortlach Midnight Malt 30 Year Old are available at DiageoRareandExceptional.sg. Discover the range of Mortlach single malt whiskies at Mandala Club, Malts, The Cooperage, Sentosa Golf Club and The Nest @ Laguna Golf Club.
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