Alright, got that out of the way. For those of you who either never saw this particular SKU from Cadenhead or who don’t allow your childlike happiness to take over in moments of silliness, we’re reviewing a whisky from the Wood Range, which used a variety of different casks to show off the impact of said casks.
Today we’re trying Glen Moray 23 1996 Cadenhead Wood Range – Wine Cask from this range, an older Glen Moray that was aged in a Sauternes Cask.
I typically don’t try Sauternes cask whiskies, because I find the finish tastes of lemon and peanuts in a weak overpowering way. Like wearing a turtleneck or being choked out by a 6-year-old. However a full maturation of a Sauternes cask? Now that’s money. Or at least the few I’ve had were money. Do people still say money for good things? Or should I say “the bee’s knees”? I gotta just pick a lane at some point.
Is this going to break that streak? I didn’t love the last ex-Sauternes cask Glen Moray in this “series”, so maybe I won’t like this. Or perhaps Cadenhead’s will sway me. Let’s see, shall we?
Bottled: April 2016
Cask type: Sauternes Cask
Number of bottles: 252
Colour: 7.5YR 6/10
Nose: Salty peanuts, lemon syrup, gooseberry, cherry medicine, floral hops
Weird. Here I am, four Glen Morays deep (over a period of 4 months, fuck Covid, get your vaccines) and the fourth one is the one that shows up to flavour town? This whisky should have frosted tips and an old style car.
Salty, nice nuttiness (not fleeting or cheap smelling), good rich lemon, some floral/funk, and weird fruit. All that to say, I’m intrigued.
Taste: Anise, cherry, brine, cotton candy, molasses, peanut
Very thick mouthfeel. Lots of spice, some sharp sweet notes, and a lot of brine. Very odd. It’s closer to some weird hybrid Oban or Old Pulteney with the brine.
Not going to lie though, it leans on “sweet” as a character defining flavour, and while there’s aspects that try to elevate it, it fails about as well as a teenager who really enjoyed the Great Gatsby.
I made that person up, no teen enjoyed the Great Gatsby.
Finish: Sunflower, cherry, fennel, cloves, brine
Less sweet, more spice and brine, and some richer flavours along with it. It’s giving me less rum vibes as there’s less molasses then the taste, but more of the nose notes from before. Very nice.
Conclusion: Reminds me of a very hopped IPA and a Dark Rum. Has some notes that will turn people on or off, no in between.
It’s not an amazing whisky by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a very good whisky and very unique. Like someone made a Glen Moray that doesn’t taste at all like a typical Glen Moray.
I don’t know if I’d buy a bottle of this. I don’t know who I’d serve it to other than whisky nerds. It’s too odd. Beer fans will find it too sweet, rum fans will not find enough molasses outside the taste, and some whisky fans will find it too floral. All in all it’s worth to try a dram or two and enjoy it that way.
Scotch review #1611, Speyside review #463, Whisky Network review #2338