Apr 192017
 

With Passover behind us, I whet my palate with a young, yet well rounded, Glen Moray. This cask is a first fill ex bourbon cask, bottled by the Single Malts of Scotland. This is part of their 2016 outturn.

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

The Single Malts of Scotland Glen Moray 2007, Cask 5134, Yield 231 (59.1% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Straw, thin legs running off a pretty sturdy necklace.

Nose: Dulce de leche, pears, honey, light hint of spice and a hint of baking bread.  A little bit of water brings out more honey and a light floral note.

Palate: Even at 59% it’s light and sweet, with some spice on the first attack. The pepper mixes with a hint of licorice, and the sweetness washes through on the tongue.

Linger: Spice on the tongue and around the gullet, and quite warming in the belly. Residual sweetness is a little white wine like, with some yellow pear. The mouth remains dry and tingly for a while.

Conclusion

The first fill barrel really allowed this whisky to get some character in the 8 years they spent together. This whisky can definitely swim, don’t be shy about adding water to it….

Feb 272015
 

Moving on to the last of the three Old Particular single cask expressions from the Whisky Show, this is classic Speysider in a classic bourbon matured whisky.

Photo Credit: 3.bp.blogspot.com

 

 

The distillery is owned by La Martiniquaise, who bought the distillery from LVMH after their purchase of Glenmorangie, who owned Glen Moray since 1920 (well, they were owned together by Macdonald & Muir, but the company was later named Glenmorangie PLC). Under Glenmorangie, this was a sleepy little distillery with two pairs of stills that were not working to full capacity. Since the La Martiniquaise purchase in 2008, the distillery has been working at capacity, producing 3.3 million liters per year, and is in the midst of a huge expansion project that saw two new warehouses and a waste treatment facility being built, with a new annex that will hold a huge (11 ton) mash tun, 12 new washbacks and six stills (raising the total to ten stills).

Glen Moray is the signature malt in the Label 5 blend (which I found surprisingly good) and makes up the main stock in the Glen Turner brand (which sells over a million bottles a year in France). In fact, when you buy a Glen Turner single malt (there’s a 12, 18 and 21 year old), you get a bottle of Glen Moray. Since 2009 Glen Moray has been producing stocks of peated whisky, and I look forward to seeing some of that bottled as a single malt.

It’s also popular with independent bottlers, as many of its single barrels produce graceful expressions, much like this one from Douglas Laing.

Photo Credit: Douglas Laing

Douglas Laing Old Particular Glen Moray 14, Refill Hogshead DL10043 (June 1999 – September 2014) Producing 384 Bottles  (48.4% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Straw, very slow thin legs.

Nose: Baking cake, spices, honey, coconut, fresh leaves, sugar syrup and coffee grinds.

Palate: Light pepper, allspice and honey in a full mouthed and rather viscous whisky.

Linger: Honey and light spiced in a medium finish with some spice remaining deep in the throat.

Conclusion

This is a classic bourbon cask matured whisky. The coconut is beautiful and the spirit itself shines through. A dram for when you want clean and classic whisky with nothing to mask the spirit itself.

Official Sample received from Douglas Laing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 302014
 

This is a youngish 10 year old, fully matured in chardonnay wine casks, offering a very high value for money.

Glen Moray is La Martiniquaise’s sole malt distillery (they own a grain distillery at Bathgate, halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow ), providing single malt whisky for the Glen Turner and the Label 5 blends. Incidentally, Label 5 is one of the top 30 selling whisky brands in the world (at number 27), and the 10th highest selling Scotch brand. This position created some apprehension around the sale of the distillery from Glenmoarngie to La Martiniquaise’s. In fact, Glen Moray actually got a boost by being sold off by the Glenmorangie Group following its acquisition by LVMH, where it was only an afterthought brand. While remaining in French hands, Glen Moray is getting its own time in the limelight as a bona fides brand. About 50% of the 3.3 million liters produced annually are sold under its own label. Half of the remaining 50% of production goes into the blends and the other 25% are traded in reciprocal deals with other blenders.

Photo Credit: whiskymag.com

Photo Credit: whiskymag.com

Glen Moray’s core range includes the NAS Classic, the 10 years old Chardonnay Cask, the 12 years old and the 16 years old – all of them chill filtered, caramel colored and bottled at 40%. A 25 year old Port Finish and a 30 year old are also available, bottled at 43%.

 

Photo Credit: masterofmalt.com

Photo Credit: masterofmalt.com

Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Matured (40% ABV)

Appearance: Light copper, very quick legs.

Nose: Fresh bakery scents, flowers, cereal, fruity (fresh fruit – apples, pears and some tropical fruit notes) rather than heavily white wine-y. The nose isn’t overly complex yet is very enjoyable.

Palate: Sweet and sour with some spicy notes of cinnamon and pepper.

Linger: Very short and a little peppery with a lightly dry note.

 

Conclusion

Light and very drinkable, this expression is an lesson in creating good quality, good value products using basic ingredients. Chardonnay is by no means a high end wine, quite the opposite. Yet, having sourced good barrels, brought them over to Scotland whole and having allowed the spirit ample time to mature (albeit only for 10 years, but the results speak for themselves) Glen Moray has created a delightful expression. Yes, I would have preferred it to be bottled at 46% ABV and non chill filtered and with no coloring. But when you compare it to the whiskies it’s competing against (both on price level and maturity) – the Glenfiddich 12, Glenmorangie Original and The Glenlivet 12 – this expression will hold its own. All in all, this is a very nice dram, delivering excellent VFM.

I had this whisky while visiting my friend Dr. Raviv for a lovely whisky aficionado evening! 🙂

Aug 012014
 

Glen Moray isn’t a mainstay in most maltheads whisky cabinets, for the simple reason that most of its considerable annual production of 3.3 million liters goes into the Label 5 and the Sir Edwards blends as well as the Glen Turner malt blend (vatted malt), owned by La Martiniquaise, and the brand itself – once part of The Glenmorangie group, was sold off by LVMH four years after buying Glenmorangie.

There are several official bottlings: The NAS classic, a 10 years old Chardonnay Cask, a 12 years old, a 16 years old, a 25 Port Wood finish and a 30 year old. This writer has yet to taste any of the official bottlings, as they are not imported to Israel (Although Glen Turner is).

Photo Credit: whiskymizuwari.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: whiskymizuwari.blogspot.com

The SMWS has bottled over 100 casks of Glen Moray, and I came across one of them in an SMWS sample meeting I had with Yoav of the Whisky Gospel blog. I must admit to liking the Society’s new “clan” system, and would put this 29 year old squarely into the “Old and Dignified” clan.

Glen Moray 29 – Scotch Malt Whisky Society Single Cask 35.103 (58.8% ABV, NCF, NC)

Color: Gold, slow tiny beads rolling slowly down the glass.

Nose: Malt, cream, cereal, lemon dishwashing detergent (not in an unpleasant way), open fields, fresh mountain air. Notes of sage and freshly cut tree branches. Four drops of water bring out clove and sweet spices and cuts down the fresh scents detected in the neat whisky.

Palate: Bitter lemon, candied citrus peel, honey with lemon, allspice and nutmeg in a somewhat chewy delivery.

Linger: Oak, lemon and orange flavored Strepsils lozenges. The spice lingers on and on, leaving a tingle on the sides of the tongue.

 

Conclusion

This is a beautiful expression of a well chosen cask. despite almost three decades in oak, the whisky isn’t oaky, and those notes are met mainly in the finish. This is a refill sherry butt, but the sherry influence is almost unnoticeable.