On a recent trip to Speyside with tour company Scottish Routes we spent an afternoon at Glen Moray, tasting their superb range with the always insightful and passionate Iain Allan, and it was whilst enjoying these drams that a few things struck me.
I have often considered Glen Moray (pronounced Glen Muh-ray for those who wondered or did not realise they were pronouncing it wrong… like me a while back) to be one of the most undervalued whisky ranges on the market. The quality of their product is incredible, the taste profiles of each release tells a different story and shows their distillers’ dexterity and skill but what I love most is the ethos behind them being to release products that are superb but affordable.
A little context, and the tasting notes are below but important to note that I was blown away by their Glen Moray 30 Year Old during this tasting, one of the top three I have tried this year if I’m honest then, knowing that Laphroaig 25 which is one of my other favourites is around the £400 – 450 mark, I asked the inevitable question of price… and was blown away for a second time when told it was £180.
Some whisky drinkers may not agree but for me this was actually great value for how much I enjoyed the liquid so bought one then and there… packing it in its beautiful box that took up a lot of my case was another matter entirely but knowing that it was only available at the distillery meant I could not say no.
As a brand that releases whisky in the £25ish bracket for their port cask finish, Elgin classic et al, there really is good sense in whisky explorers of all levels and financial interest in whisky to try their products and see what they have to offer. You will not regret it, I guarantee that.
The drams we tried…
Dram One – Glen Moray Port Cask – 40% ABV
Aged in ex-Tawny port casks for eight months ahead of release, this was great and looked rather rose wine-esque in appearance.
Dram Two – Glen Moray 16 Year Old – 40% ABV
30% Sherry casks, 70% Bourbon casks all aged to 16 years old then married at the end to give a wonderful symphony of flavours that tease as much as they excited.
Dram Three – Glen Moray 30 Year Old – 43% ABV
As noted above, I was blown away by the smooth flavour profile of this one, a great mouthfeel, fruity palate that was silky to the last. Was actually bottled in 2004, sold then a few cases were found when the distillery changed hands so they are now a distillery exclusive that I was super excited about. The malt used in this whisky was the last malted at Glen Moray’s own maltings in 1974 – incredible. Straight Bourbon maturation.
Dram Four – Glen Moray 35 Year Old Cask Strength – 51.2% ABV
Refill hogshead distilled in 1977, surprisingly light, lots of vanilla and fudge notes coming through.
Dram Five – Cask Strength Bottle Your Own Distillery Exclusive – 53.8% ABV
10 Year Old distilled in 2005 and had a fizzy quality to it, sherbert maybe, very sweet… not really one for me.
Also published on Medium.