Glen Moray used to show up to tastings on a semi-regular basis. Now a quick review of my reviews will show that I haven’t done one in quite awhile. Why?
Well first off, we had one whisky drinker who liked Glen Moray, and was the one to purchase them. Unfortunately life happened and we don’t get the chances to drink together as much.
And second off, turns out he was the Glen Moray fan and the rest of us were along for the ride. That’s okay, he probably appreciated pouring it for us, hearing different takes, etc. However, once he wasn’t showing up with Glen Moray, we said “Hey, what’s going on?” and I don’t really know where I was going with this joke, but suffice to say we stopped buying Glen Moray.
But what if I enjoyed Glen Moray? What’s Glen Moray been doing? One of the most interesting whiskies I’ve ever had was a 27-year-old Glen Moray that I was obsessed with.
Today I’m kicking off a new mini-series in which I find all the Glen Moray in the house and review them, gauging how I feel. Perhaps by the end I’ll start grabbing bottles again. Perhaps I’ll somehow buy less.
Up first we’re starting with an easy to obtain whisky right from the distillery: Glen Moray 10 2008 Hand Bottled at the Distillery. That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.
For those of you who are new, distilleries typically have casks that you can fill a bottle of yourself, in the gift shop, and only there. You number them, you get to put your name on it, and it’s fun. My experience is limited, as travel is very expensive and I happen to not be a royal. You could even say that luxe isn’t for us, but then you’d have to be Stan’s father. That all said, there’s an expectation that very nice casks picked out for the gift shop should be very good. You came all this way, you spent a lot of money, and you should bring back the best the distillery has to offer so when you pour it for others, they buy your product, blah blah blah, Marketing 101, whatever.
So what did they pick this time? It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon finished 10-year-old Glen Moray that was bottled at cask strength, all from a single cask.
Is it good? We assume so, what with Glen Moray being in the city of Elgin, 52 minutes from Inverness by car on roads that are so tight you’ll have to change your pants.
But assumption ends up being one of those bad things, so let’s use our drink holes for happy times, shall we?
Cask type: Cabernet Sauvignon Finish
Cask number: 6006565
Colour: 2.5Y 8/10
Nose: Caramel sauce, ginger, pear, compost
Sweet, some heat, eventually some pear, and water brings out a vegetal/funk note, which is probably the nicest part. It’s quite light and shy. Really takes time to bring it out.
Maybe it’s just young? Maybe the finish didn’t help the nose? Smells somewhat generic at first and really needs some time.
Taste: Candied nuts, sugar cranberry, cloves, molasses
Sugar. I am a North American, I come from a WASP family, and if left out in the sun for too long I will look like a lobster. Also my life is pretty good and people only assume positive things about me: Get the idea? I’m a honky if you didn’t.
What does that have to do with whisky? I grew up in a family where I got used to “white people’s level of sweets”, aka fruit is only a bit sweet to me and I once ate 6 créme caramel in one sitting. Is it healthy? No, not at all, if you can convince your kids to not be like this, do it.
So when I say this thing is sugar heavy, I’m trying to be blunt in saying it’s as sweet in the same way that Putin is “war crazy” or Liz Truss really wants rich people to like her. It’s a lot. It’s too much. It’s everywhere here. There’s nothing without sugar. It’s frankly hard to drink, yet interesting, so I’m conflicted.
Finish: Farmy, craisin, manuka honey, raisin, ginger
Thank goodness for a bit of farminess and tartness. Because it’s more heat and sugar. It’s a fire at a sugar factory. It’s that spot in Gone Girl but on fire.
Again, hard to drink, hard to think about. It’s so sweet yet interesting but really sweet.
Conclusion: Super sweet and ginger forward. Tons of heat. It’s brash and sweet and not in great ways. Doesn’t totally work. On the one hand, it’s unique, nutty, has some tart, and a bit of char/smoke. That’s interesting. I like red wine casks because they are like sherry but a bit different sometimes? Why did I add a question mark? Because I totally didn’t believe myself by the end and I’m still figuring it all out. I’m a millennial, it’s the norm for us.
On the bad hand? This is just a ton of sweets. Have you ever eaten too much candy in one sitting? Like, it’s November and you’re out of Halloween candy and your mouth is on fire from too much sugar? That’s the feeling of drinking this. I have no idea why you’d put this out as a hand fill, unless it was so cheap. I don’t include price in my write-ups, but if I paid the price for this (assuming I didn’t try it first) I’d be telling people not to go to Glen Moray.
End of the day, you might like this, you may not. I don’t really love it, had a hard time, but I can’t deny it’s unique, so maybe it’s just not for me.
Scotch review #1608, Speyside review #460, Whisky Network review #2335