Glen Moray 2005 Burgundy cask 11-year-old

Firstly, an admission as the bottle pictured here isn’t the same one reviewed. An easy mistake given they’re both hand bottled options from Glen Moray and both from Burgundy casks, bottled during 2016. My sample comes via Barry at the WhiskyPhiles which is what I’ll be reviewing here and the bottled photographed, well I had totally forgotten I had it within my possession until sitting down with this whisky.

My thinking was at least it’ll give you an idea of what the presentation and colour is actually like if you do make the trip along to Glen Moray for the tour and visitor exclusives. Sadly, the distillery isn’t doing their excellent barbeque during the Spirit of Speyside Festival this year. That’s a loss as we quite enjoyed the evening in 2016, but it’s been given the honour of hosting the Opening Ceilidh 2017 event and the awards. I’m sure the team will be excellent hosts once again. Then the following evening it's the Glen Moray birthday party Shindig with the distillery manager taking the helm once again.

Whilst we’re on the subject of the Spirit of Speyside Festival, the distillery is offering a range of tours this year including one with their Master Distiller, Graham Coull, as he deconstructs their Mastery bottling. Details on this release are almost nil currently, but I presume with the distillery celebrating its 120th Anniversary in 2017 it’ll be something special. Watch this space I suppose.

So far I haven’t reviewed too many releases from Glen Moray yet don’t take that as being it doesn’t agree with me along the lines of Jura or Bruichladdich. I actually find it a very reliable whisky, available in most supermarkets and priced realistically as well. For under £25 you can enjoy their classic malt, sherry cask, peated, port or Chardonnay; all of a good standard. I’ve probably been guilty of actually overlooking and appreciating a dram of Glen Moray without sitting down at the keyboard to write about it. Come to think of it I did do a wee mini-vertical trio including two official bottlings almost a year ago that's worth checking out.

A quick deduction of the figures so far, confirms that Glen Moray was established in 1897 on the site of West Brewery that has been in existence since 1828. It’s an unusual location today as it feels almost as its hidden away amongst a housing estate. An ideal plus for someone looking to move to the area; it’d prompt me to snap up a house with ease if I was looking to relocate in Elgin.

Owned today by La Martiniquaise who purchased the distillery in 2008, it’s been steadily producing good whiskies without any hype or razzmatazz that we see from other distilleries. Glen Moray from experience also lends itself very well to all sorts of casks including Chenin Blanc and red wine casks so it was an easy decision to sit down with this 11-year-old bottled at 59.7%. Distilled in 2005 from cask number 5422, this burgundy cask would have been a visitor exclusive and from memory was attractively priced at around £50. Compare that to other distilleries that are encroaching on £100 now for a modest vintage and you’ll begin to appreciate why Glen Moray is widely loved.
Colour: ruby
Nose: a mix of cinder toffee, red grapes and cranberries. There's a barbeque note that seems apt, I'm thinking a well fired joint layered in honey. A little liquorice and beeswax. A little rubber with pepper, raspberries with a hint of rusty iron with a syrupy feel and ginger.
Taste: a robust dram with rubbed bronze, more cranberries and walnuts. Some raspberries and cinnamon with spiced pumpkin. A drying finish with hazelnuts takes us to the end. Water delivers more sweetness.
Overall: enjoyable, robust and forward. I couldn't drink too much of this as its an end of the evening type of dram. Another type of cask that works well with the Glen Moray spirit.  

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