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
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.
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.
Labels: burgundy wood, featured, glen moray, Speyside