Glen Moray Master Distiller Graham Coull certainly seems both ingenious and busy. The last few years has seen the revival, relaunch and a rebrand of much of the Elgin distilleries core ranges.
I’ve written quite extensively about Glen Moray over these last few years and stick by my assertion that it is one of, if not the best, distilleries out there in terms of value and proof that good quality whisky doesn’t have to be overpriced. It is probably why it has become the 4th biggest malt whisky brand (by volume) in the UK.
This particular incarnation from Glen Moray is matured for 10 years in ex-bourbon and then finished for 10 months in charred virgin oak casks. As with all Glen Moray expression it is keenly priced with an RRP under £40.
Glen Moray Fired Oak, OB, 10 year old, 40% abv, press sample.
Straight away the nose feels sweet and light. A mixture of boiled sweets (lemon sherbets distinctly), milk chocolate and wet balsa wood are there initially but given time there is a slight floral presence (blossoms) and something akin to a very dilute banana milkshake. Faint wafts of vanilla and a little marzipan underpin.
The palate is where we first notice the virgin oak influence. The wood emerges here alongside some cinnamon sprinkled peaches. Vanilla is prominent but we are moving rapidly from sweet to tannic and drying via some fruity notes, hints of red berries and pear abound. Charred vanilla pods are here, as are dustings of sawdust and a touch of ginger. Sadly the palate does feel somewhat thin.
By the finish the sweetness has fully made way for the oak influences. It is drying, tangy and very much spice driven with cloves and cardamon prevalent. Perhaps it is my aversion to virgin oak but it just feels overly woody for my taste. I’m not sure if it is the juxtaposition between the sweet nose and the drying finish that exacerbates this.
Maybe the antithesis is the point, highlighting the range of flavours, showing the attributes given by various casks. Personally it just feels unbalanced.
Glen Moray have produced some great drams recently, however the style of this one isn’t for me.
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