The Glen Moray Range 2016

Last year, I took part in a Tweet Tasting of the full Glen Moray range, which was a great introduction to the distillery and its whiskies. Over the past 12 months, the distillery has released a series of new and interesting expressions, so I was delighted to break out my keyboard, nosing glasses and take part in another Tweet Tasting (both, courtesy of The Whisky Wire).

Glen Moray Classic Sherry Cask Finish 40% ABV
This new expressions has spent most of its life in American oak casks, before being transferring to sherry casks for the final eight months. The combination of American and European oak gives it a burst of toffee sweetness of the nose – similar to the toffee chews I ate as a child – along with warming flavours of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Reassuringly sherry finished. The palate was beautifully smooth and bursting with fresh summer berries, including blueberries and raspberries, with a zing of sherbet Dip Dab

Glen Moray 15 Year Old 40% ABV
This bottling comes from the “Elgin Heritage” series, which is the new name of the distillery’s core range.  This new bottling is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, replacing the old Glen Moray 16YO. There’s toffee on the nose again, but it’s closer to buttered toffee. More berry sweetness and I (rather strangely) found a tiny hint of smoke off. Again, the palate is silky smooth, like honey.  Moreover, it reminded me of a bar of raspberry studded dark chocolate I once tasted – and it was just as moreish.

Glen Moray 1994 ‘Sherry Cask Finish’ 56.7% ABV
After first maturing in first-fill bourbon casks, this whisky was then transferred to a first-fill Olorosso sherry butt in December 2010, giving it more than five years of sherry goodness. I was desperate to taste this one from the moment my tasting pack arrived, as the nose on it was stunning – a deep, deep dram, which I just wanted to dive into.  Overriding flavours of burnt brown sugar and dates then gave way to lots of big sherry notes.   The palate was an absolute treat – big and chewy.  And all the flavours of Christmas, including orange, clove, ginger and dark chocolate, with a strong cherry finish.

Mystery Dram
On the night, this dram was left a mystery until after everyone had tasted it, so I’m going to do the same. The nose on it was very light, with tropical fruits, melon and a citrusy zing. There was a bit of vanilla lurking in the background too. That fruitiness played a big part on the palate too, with a zingy-ness that jumped all over my mouth, reminding me of Haribo Tangfastics. And it was revealed that this was *drum roll* a cider cask finish, which is something very few Scottish distilleries have experimented with.  This bottling was only available at the distillery for a limited time but hopefully the distillery will be rolling it out further soon.

You can read more about the peated single malt, which was also part of the tasting, here.

The Verdict
An absolutely brilliant set of drams and it’s difficult to pick a favourite. However, with an RRP of under just £30, I’ll have to go for the Sherry Cask Finish.

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