September 2017 marked the 120th anniversary of Glen Moray distillery having been first opened and the teams there have been constantly crafting the water of life for our delectation. Loyal followers of the distillery on twitter have been using the hashtag #glenmoray120 to tag their celebration of the occasion. Having recently reviewed their regularly available Elgin Heritage 12 and 15 year old expressions, I was delighted that September’s Dram Team delivery contained a new and limited expression from Glen Moray. The mini miniature contained a dram of a 30 year old independent bottling by Murray McDavid under their “Mission Gold” range. There’s limited information available on the whisky itself but as a Murray McDavid release, it has been hand selected from a vintage cask and aged up to the ripe old age of 30 and is presented here at a punchy 49% ABV.
Oooh, its creamy. Really creamy. A real vanilla bomb actually. There’s very little boozy prickle in the nostrils from this near 50% alcoholic liquid. There’s a really rounded honey and cream flavour here. There’s also a gentle selection of sweet fruits there too like papaya and mango.
There’s a really strong flavour of vanilla custard that really coats the whole mouth. Just like Portuguese tarts. It also has a nice underlying sweet oak flavour in there too, which builds and intensifies on its way down too.
The alcohol only really shows itself on the finish here as the whisky warms you up on the way down. Suddenly that 49% is really prominent and, when combined with the oak, leaves a peppery kick.
Having tried a few of Glen Moray’s NAS cask finish series releases recently, I’ve really got to enjoy their light body character and varying flavours and that was what I came to expect of Glen Moray. Delicate and woody. The recent comparison of the 12 year old and 15 year old however (see notes here), evidenced a stark difference in flavours and body as a result of a few extra years, and so the prospect of 30 years in barrel made me think that this dram would really take hold of the flavour and would basically taste like chewing a stave. Instead it seems that 30 years have infused nothing but pure vanilla sweetness into this liquid and have left it with a finish that is just sooooo smooth. Also, at just under 50% ABV, this dram is dangerously easy to drink. At a recommended retail price of £225 GBP for a single 70cl bottle though… a small sample is all I’ll be able to enjoy at this stage… and enjoy it, I have.
Sample disclosure: This sample was received as part of a monthly subscription to the Dram Team service, which send out 5x 25ml and 1x 10ml samples of a variety of whiskies to your doorstep. This review has been put together after drinking this small sample and has been drafted as an honest and independent review of the whisky tasted here. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and welcome your thoughts and comments below.