Throughout 2017, Glen Moray Distillery has been celebrating 120 years of continuous production at its site in Elgin. The site of the current Glen Moray Distillery was originally the Elgin West Brewery, which opened in 1830, and produced several local ales up until almost the turn of the 19th century. On January 27 1897, the Glen Moray Glenlivet Distillery Company Ltd was formed and later that year, on September 13, the very first drops of spirit ran from copper stills on the site.
To mark this landmark celebration, the distillery has introduced the new Elgin Heritage Collection of three single malts, which encapsulated the “affordable richness” of their 12, 15 and 18 year old whiskies. And here’s what I thought of the three of them:
Glen Moray 12 Year Old – 40% ABV
The entry level expression has been matured in American oak casks, but its youthful age mean it’s very light. But there are still plenty of soft fruits – peaches and apricot – on the nose, along with slight flora notes and the sweetness of shortbread covered in white chocolate. Strangely, I was also getting a strong hint of chives. The palate was just as light but there was plenty of vanilla – a reflection of the American oak casks. However, it offered a beautiful fruit salad burst, along with warming lightly toasted oats.
Glen Moray 15 Year Old – 40% ABV
The middle child is a combination of American and Sherry casks, although it’s another whisky which is light on the nose. But there’s also a rich background lurking, with hints of milk chocolate and sultanas, and a fruity blast of apricot and orange. Unlike the 12 year old, there’s plenty more to play with on the palate. I got masses of salted caramel…and I LOVE SALATED CARAMEL! Orange. Butter toffee. And a tiny hint of spice and smoke.
Glen Moray 18 Year Old – 47.2%
This particular expression is drawn from first-fill American oak barrels, which imparts plenty of vanilla, although with lots of other rich flavours, including brandy custard, toffee and cinnamon. Juicy melon on the nose is also complemented by a zing of lemon. There’s a load more spices on the palate than could be found on the nose, especially ginger. There’s also the richness of heather honey, and a nuttiness that sits somewhere between walnuts and hazelnuts. Strangely, something about it reminded by of 7UP!
Overall, three good entry levels whiskies which give an indication of what Glen Moray has to offer if you want to venture further up the pricing scale. Again, sherry just gives it the edge for me, with the 15 year old my favourite of the three.
You can find out more about Glen Moray and its anniversary celebrations on its website.