I was very privileged to be able to take part in the 3rd Glen Moray Tweet Tasting run by The Whisky Wire. As always with these things, there’s a huge amount of fun involved, as well as the serious business of actually tasting the product.
We were joined by Graham Coull, Master Distiller, his wife, Faye, and Iain, the Brand Ambassador; lofty company indeed!
If you know anything about Glen Moray, they are all about producing the best possible product, at the most wallet friendly price possible. Expression after expression that they produce is of a very high quality, and doesn’t cost as much as you think. This attitude extends to Tweet Tastings too. We had 5 samples to try, and for each we received 100ml, so half a litre of whisky in total. Amazing generosity.
The other thing you can guarantee with Glen Moray is that if they say they used a particular type of cask for a whisky, then you know about it in the final product. So this promised to be a real treat of a tasting!
The whiskies in order of tasting are:
- Cabernet Cask Finish
- Fired Oak
- Bourbon Cask (Distillery Exclusive)
- PX Finish (Distillery Edition)
- Peated Cask, Cabernet Sauvignon Finish (Distillery Exclusive)
Cabernet Cask Finish – 40% ABV
Nose: Wow loads of Cabernet notes immediately. Grapes, oak, tannin, also cinnamon, sultanas, small amount of menthol, tinned peaches as you nose on. Getting brown sugar and spices, and a lot less fruit as it opens up. Sour cherries and orange zest hit the mix right at the end. 8/10
Palate: Quite a large amount of pepper spice here. Loads of body for 40% ABV! Great effort. Dry oak, but it’s subtle. Tinned pineapples. Brown sugar. 8/10
Finish: Smooth on the way down but the spice lingers a long time on the palate. Oaky dryness gives way to a lingering sweetness. 8/10
Value for money: Amazing bang for buck dram at around £25 a bottle. Loads of flavour and a big fat body, despite the 40%! 10/10
Looks: Love the Glen Moray bottle shape, and the Cabernet cask has added a little pinkness to the liquid. Gorgeous! 8/10
Total Score: 82/100
Fired Oak, Aged 10 Years – 40% ABV
Nose: Ashy something but it’s not the usual aromas. Bananas! Not the foam ones I usually smell. Fresh, ripe ones. Slight hints of vanilla. And toffee. It’s a banoffee pie dram!! The banana slowly fades away to mango and coconut. Buttery digestive biscuits. Walnuts. 7/10
Palate: Same peppery hit of the Cabernet Cask, but lacking something of punch in the middle. Still tasty though. Slight astringency and dryness of oak. Much dryer than the nose suggests. Toasted wood definitely features, with nutty notes too. It’s actually growing on me as I sip more. 7/10
Finish: Getting that mouth feel after gargling with TCP. Slightly menthol and tingly. Sweetness coming through. 5/10
Value for money: £40 is a lot for 40%, and it’s definitely not to my tastes. 6/10
Looks: Classic Glen Moray 7/10
Total Score: 64/100
Bourbon Cask, Distillery Exclusive – 58.6% ABV
Nose: Oh yes you get the bourbon right away. Vanilla, green oak, but also toffee, clementines, slight marzipan, toasted nuts again. As it opens you get fresh coffee grounds, possibly a little marmalade. 8/10
Palate: The spice is really ramped up. Amazing sweetness too. Brown sugar. Custard. Acidity of baked apples to balance out the sweetness and round it out. Really tasty stuff. The oak is really pronounced but it’s so much smoother than in bourbon itself. A good thing! 9/10
Finish: Really long, sweet, spicy and comforting. 9/10
Value for money: £55 for a strong cask strength is a really good price. And it’s delicious too. 9/10
Looks: Classic Glen Moray. 7/10
Total score: 86/100
PX Finish, 1998 Vintage, Distillery Edition – 44.5% ABV
Nose: Have to admit I love a PX finish. Having just used the Elgin Classic for my Christmas cake I immediately find a better dram for the job! Loads of sherried fruits, stroopwafels, real sweetness. As you go on, you get good quality liquorice, sticky toffee pudding with lashings of toffee custard, sticky medjool dates. 9/10
Palate: Much more gentle than the previous, but still a good spice hit. Lovely sweetness of brown sugar. This feels a lot more mature than the others, as expected. Lots of caramel and vanilla and biscuits. Really quaffable. Something quite savoury going on. High grade cigar tobacco. 9/10
Finish: A really interesting interplay of savoury, sweet and spice as this lingers around. 9/10
Value for money: This is pretty pricey, but very tasty, and well aged. 7/10
Looks: Classic Glen Moray: 7/10
Total score: 87/100
Peated Cask Cabernet Sauvignon Cask Finish, Distillery Exclusive – 58.7% ABV
Nose: Yummy damp bonfire smoke, good quality salami, really savoury, but also a sweet overtone. Opal fruits. Parma violets. Damp heather. Liquorice. 10/10
Palate: Oh the smoke! And the sweetness. And then the SPICE! Boom! Wow that’s something. Loads of savoury smoked meats too. Eyes watering. This will be staying with me for a while. 10/10
Finish: The smoke fades to embers, the fire of chilli goes out. And you’re left with a lovely sweet memory of something quite special. One to fuel your dreams! 10/10
I remember the Glen Moray peated new make being my favourite of the 5 drams in the inaugural Glen Moray Tweet Tasting. This dram is evidence of what it can become with time, wood and skill.
This is definitely one to pair with a good cigar and something sweet to eat. Lots of savouries. Lots of smoke. And really easy drinking too. I might just have to take this to enjoy at the Christmas markets in Cologne next month.
Value for money: £55 for a cask strength bottling that is so tasty is crazy cheap! 9/10
Looks: Classic Glen Moray with the salmon pink of the Cabernet casks. 9/10
Total score: 98.5/100
As always, a total pleasure taking part, and some absolutely fabulous whiskies to try. I’ve got loads left to really savour over the winter months too.
Thanks Glen Moray, thanks Graham, thanks Steve!