Review: The Glen Moray Mastery.

This year sees Glen Moray Distillery celebrate its 120th birthday. To commemorate this they are set to release a limited edition luxury expression. Glen Moray Master Distiller Graham Coull has selected 5 different vintages to blend together and create Mastery, which is a mix of maderia, sherry and port casks.

Three of the five vintages used were laid down by Grahams predecessors, Robert Brown (manager from 1959-1987) and Edwin Dodson (manager from 1987-2005). Two of Grahams own vintages are in there also. 
Glen Moray Mastery, OB, 52.3%abv, limited to 1000 bottles, approx £800 (press sample)



The nose is sweet with sugary fruits, raisins, soft spices and gentle wood notes. Demerara sugar underpins the feeling here. After a while some walnuts and vanilla infused coffee beans emerge.

The palate however is where the sherry influence really shows. Rich and chocolatey with redcurrants and stewed fruits. Not a sherry bomb, but rounded and filled with sherry flavours. There is a deep sweetness here which interplays with a delicious tannic element as the sherry and madeira influences combine. I’m not usually a fan of anything over 50%abv, personally preferring an abv in the high 40’s. The Mastery sits at 52.3% which allows it to be punchy, with the alcohol pushing the flavour profiles rather than at any point overpowering them.

The finish is chocolatey and reminiscent of a sweet cafe latte, alongside some nice creamy and vanilla elements with a spiced undercurrent. Long and lingering with the eventual emergence of oak and a twist of clove. A restrained and controlled richness.

It’s very interesting, but yet exciting, to see such a release from an underrated distillery that is most notable for its good value and yet also good quality expressions. I have spent time wandering in the Glen Moray warehouse and am privvy to just some of what it contains. 

Anyone who has tried, or is at least aware, of Glen Moray’s distillery exclusive expressions of late (Burgundy cask, Cider cask, Peated port cask) will only be too aware of the experimental nature of Graham Coull, which I first encountered at his masterclass at last years Spirit of Speyside: Distilled event. A particular highlight was a Bandol wine cask expression, which is unusual to say the least…

The Mastery will be available from selected retailers soon and will be limited to 1000 bottles, presented in numbered decanters.
You can check out more Glen Moray reviews in the Tasting Notes Archive.

Master Distiller Graham Coull also took part in my Desert Island Drams project.