Distilled in 1988 and finished for an unspecified period in port casks after lengthy maturation in bourbon barrels. Floral, perfumed, and very enticing on the nose. Vanilla fudge, cocktail cherries, polished oak, and gentle spices. Soft and sweet on the palate, with vanilla, overripe orange, cinnamon, and milky coffee. Long and slightly peppery on the finish, with persistent drying fruitiness. Complex and extremely accomplished.
The relentless upward march of prices for well-aged scotch is discouraging to veteran whisky drinkers and newcomers alike. At just $90, this lovely Speyside 18 year old hearkens back to the good old days of single malt. A warm, soft, and rounded whisky, with pleasing melon and apricot flavors, hints of dried hay and apple pie à la mode, and a backbone of peppery fruit and malt, Glen Moray 18 year old isn’t about bombast. It balances delicacy and strength rather than embracing raw power. Although it’s celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, Glen Moray isn’t very well known in the United States, but that may be about to change. Number 10 in the 2017 Top 20
Glen Moray is celebrating its 120th anniversary with Mastery, a vatting from 1978, 1988, 1994, 1999, and 2001. Maturation—and finishing—has occurred in a mix of bourbon, sherry, madeira, and port casks. Resinous sherry, smoky red wine, caramel, and vanilla on the nose. Voluptuous on the palate, with sherry, succulent stewed fruit, soft toffee, and cocoa powder. Long in the gently spiced finish, with port-soaked oak. (1,000 bottles)
This offers a slightly oily nose, with orchard fruits, vanilla, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cucumber sprinkled with white pepper, and very subtle smoke. Powerful flavors of peppery fruit and malt on the palate, with honey, butterscotch, milk chocolate, cinnamon, and mellow oak. The finish is lengthy and redolent of toffee apples.
Aged in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks; the nose is initially relatively reticent, slightly earthy, with a hint of drinking chocolate, emerging sherry notes, and subtle orange. Toffee, more chocolate, and spicy dried fruits on the relatively full-bodied palate. Long in the finish, with wood spices.
Trader Joe’s Glen Moray 16 year old Speyside (Distilled in 2001), 40%
Single Malt Scotch | $40
Layers of rich fruit pervade the nose—plums in syrup, mango, guava, peach, dried kiwi—along with white pepper, ginger, and tobacco leaf. Those same fruits tumble over each other on the palate, which is light but complex, with gentle spice, cigar wrapper, dark chocolate, and slightly drying oak. The finish, though light, retains length through chocolate, tobacco, and polished oak flavors. This tastes remarkably good at its low proof, but what a thing it would be at 46%. (Trader Joe’s)
New to Glen Moray’s core range, this was initially matured in bourbon barrels before finishing in port pipes. The nose is fragrant and inviting, with raspberries, ginger, vanilla custard, and sultanas. Voluptuous in the mouth, with honey, cherry liqueur, coconut, marzipan, and milk chocolate vying with contrasting dried fruit and wood notes. The chocolate darkens in the finish, with raisins, licorice, and slightly tannic oak. (4,000 bottles; 1,200 for U.S.)
To create Fired Oak, Glen Moray spirit has been matured in bourbon casks for almost a decade, before a 10 month finish in heavily charred virgin American oak casks. Canned pineapple, honey, and vanilla on the nose, with a hint of lemon. An initial citric zest on the palate, then soft toffee, newly sawn timber, cloves, and cinnamon. Licorice, lively spices, and slightly smoky oak in the medium-length finish. £40
Matured in bourbon casks, this expression offers a sweet, pleasing nose of honey, icing sugar, toffee bonbons, and orange peel. Medium-bodied, with barley sugar, soft oak, nectarine, and lychee. Vanilla and a return of honey in the medium-length finish.
Adelphi (distilled at Glen Moray) 22 year old, 55%
Single Malt English Whisky | $240
Gold in color and sweet on the nose, with a little nudge of mash, stewed apples, and cobnuts. As it develops, the impression is of a polite garden tea at the minister’s: vanilla sponge, scones with cream and strawberry jam, with a background of lightly-turned earth. The palate continues equally sweetly and is lightly hot when neat. A glimpse of summer pleasures in wintertime.
Exclusive Malts (distilled at Glen Moray) 9 year old, 55.7%
Single Malt Scotch | $85
Distilled in September 2007 and matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel (#5315), this is a fine example of how good a relatively youthful Speyside malt can be, given the right cask. Soft and fragrant on the nose, with lemongrass, ginger snaps, and light toffee notes. The palate is sweet, with ripe strawberries and spicy fudge. A spicy finish offers cinnamon, milk chocolate, and lingering citrus fruits. (220 bottles)
Apricots and candle wax aromas on the early nose, with honey, caramel, and a hint of
cinnamon. Supple on the palate, with juicy peaches, ripe banana, malt, licorice, and
wood spices. The finish is long, with aniseed, spicy oak, dark chocolate, and black
pepper. (1,468 bottles) £65
The latest addition to Glen Moray’s Classic range was aged in bourbon barrels and finished in cabernet sauvignon wine casks. Raspberry cordial is prominent on the nose, with soft toffee, marzipan, and coconut. The raspberry carries over from the nose to the palate, with vanilla, ginger, and ultimately, dark chocolate. Spicy in the finish, with berry fruits and subtle oak. Best Value
This offers an enticing nose of honey, malt, and barley sugar—sweet and floral. Peaches in cream on the palate, a suggestion of madeira, milk chocolate, and Brazil nuts. Cocoa, citrus fruits, and light oak in the medium-length finish. Value pick
Adelphi (distilled at Glen Moray) 27 year old, 56.8%
Single Malt Scotch | $158
Each independent bottler has its own signature style. Adelphi’s is about relaxed, contemplative drams with rich maturity and a certain seriousness. Here you see this, plus crème brûlée, sitting in front of a sandalwood backdrop with a bunch of basil mint thrown in. The opening is slow, and while the inherent sweet nature of the distillery is there, hazelnuttish oak helps to add structure and stops any flabbiness from intruding. A luscious dram. £99
Douglas Laing Old Particular (distilled at Glen Moray) 14 year old, 48.4%
Single Malt Scotch | $83
Soft and direct. The initial impression is of birthday cake icing with marzipan beneath, then comes preserved lemon, greengage, and discreet maltiness. It becomes more scented (linden/privet blossom) in time. The palate is a little strong initially, then a hint of coconut. Improves further with water, showing a fascinating, subtle evolution: herbal with iris flowers. A classy dram from an overlooked distillery. Check it out. £53
After 6 to 7 years of maturation in bourbon casks, this spent several months in chardonnay white wine casks. The nose offers resinous wine notes, melon, grapefruit, and a hint of vanilla. Nutty on the palate, with orchard fruits, more vanilla, and milk chocolate. Peaches and a slightly oily note in the finish, with apples, nutmeg, and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Highly approachable, with soft, earthy peat on the nose, plus pineapple, honey, and vanilla. Warm leather, ashy peat, ripe pears, and discreet vanilla notes on the palate. Slightly thinner than the unpeated Classic. Relatively long in the finish, with peppery peat and ultimately, aniseed.