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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Glen Moray 25 yo Whisky Review!

Following a short hiatus, due to a holiday in Egypt and a nasty head cold, I thought I would 'get back in the saddle' by reviewing something new and unfamiliar, at least to me.

This whisky was part of a sample pack purchased from Nippy Sweetie Whiskies. Samples are a fantastic way to try multiple whiskies, without the cost of buying whole bottles. Nippy Sweetie have a huge range of samples available, so if there's something you've been wanting to try, but either can't find or can't afford, have a look at their website or send them an email.

Glen Moray is a Speyside distillery, located near the town of Elgin. Generally producing milder, sweeter, lighter whiskies, but their 25yo bottling is a little different in that it is finished in Port casks, following the traditional maturation in ex-bourbon casks. It is also bottled at 43% rather than the normal 40% of the range.

This practice is becoming more commonplace in the Scotch Whisky world, and aside from the added flavours, it can give the whisky a enticing red or pink hue. Still nowhere near as common as the ex-bourbon and sherry cask maturation, though.

This is not the case with the Glen Moray 25 though, which leads me to assume that either it was a short finish in the Port casks, or the casks employed may have been well-used (i.e. they had already held other whisky or other spirits), known as being fourth or fifth fill, for example, as opposed to first or second fill. Obviously, each time the cask is used, a lower level of the original contents remains, and therefore the cask has less influence on the whisky. This is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but is simply a decision made by the distillery in order to achieve the intended outcome. 

Glen Moray 25 yo, 43%, Speyside, Scotland.
Distilled 1986, ex-Bourbon cask matured, Port cask finished. No mention of chill filtration or added colourant on the label, so we must assume both practices have been used.

(tasted neat)
Colour: Bronze, slightly orange. 

Nose: Sweet toffee, some Christmas cake & boozy raisins from the port finishing, then stone fruit and slightly spicy oak.

Texture: Clean and light.

Taste: Fruity, mild golden syrup/brown sugar sweetness which fades quickly, then oak and spices, and some red wine / grape tannins. 

Finish: Quite short and thin, some mouth-watering dryness, but then a very odd sulphur/mineral note which out lasts all other flavours, like nasty tap water. Off-putting for me, but some may enjoy, certainly unexpected.

Score: 2.5 out of 5.

Notes: Started off well, nicely balanced, but that mineral and sulphur on the finish spoiled the show, for me at least. Being from a small sample bottle, it is possible that the whisky oxidised faster than it would have if left in the bottle, but these sample bottles are all filled to the neck, and properly sealed, so I don't think this is the case. Might have to re-taste later on to see if that nasty note is still there at the end.  

Having said that, I still much prefer this 25yo bottling to the other expressions of Glen Moray I've tasted, the balance, depth of flavour and mouth-feel are much improved. But, this comes at a price- around AUD$250 a bottle, which I simply could not justify for this whisky. There is some major competition at that price point, even at a younger age, which has this whisky beat. By a long way. 

I'm having peat withdrawals now, so next up will be a rather special heavily peated whisky. See you then.