Not only are Glen Moray rather underrated (mostly overlooked due to their price) but they are also not afraid to experiment. Quite often their Distillery Exclusives, in the form of the ‘Bottle your own’ expressions are really rather unique.
Last year saw a rather tasty Cider Cask exclusive and also this Burgundy Cask Release.
I had the pleasure of attending a masterclass with Master Distiller Graham Coull at last years Spirit of Speyside: Distilled event, which highlighted some of the more unusual casks hidden in the Elgin warehouses. More on one of these a little later.
I often wonder if some of these Distillery only expressions are just testing the water for future releases?
In this case, I hope so…
Glen Moray Burgundy Cask, 2005, 61.4%abv, OB, from my collection, (no longer available)
The nose is rich. Deep vanilla and red berries are the most prominent, along with poached pears, spices (mostly cinnamon) some crisp green apples and some weak, yet noticeably tannic, black tea.
There is a noticeable sweetness but I’m not picking up much from the wine as yet.
The palate is mostly redcurrants, strawberries and toffee with a slight woody feeling, plenty of chocolate and a touch of leather here too.
There is quite a lot going on but the high abv masks quite a lot. Time for some water…
Palate is now opened up rather nicely. A nutty and spiced feeling is now shown, alongside a well balanced spiced and fruit led character.
The finish continues along the fruity path until a slight spiced upturn at the end.
This is a great example of a wine casked whisky, where neither the spirit or the cask has taken over.
It is a bit potent at 61.4% but water opens it up and calms it nicely.
There is a lot of colour transferred from the wine cask and it has clearly picked up a massive amount of flavour compounds along the way too.
This is the second exceptional wine cask Glen Moray expression I have tried after sampling a Bandol wine cask finish at The Spirt of Speyside: Distilled festival masterclass with Master Distiller Graham Coull.
I’ve previously had the pleasure of a tour at Glen Moray, and if you are ever nearby then it’s well worth going not just for the tour, an excellent look at a distillery where tradition and technology are both prominent, but maybe even worth it just to bottle your own.