It’s fair to say that the folks at Glen Moray have been very busy with their processes and experimentation, having recently released a solid set of 4 series of whiskies, all named after their home town of Elgin: the Classic, the Heritage, the Reserve, and the Prestige. The Classic range features a series of no-age statement whiskies (though Glen Moray do profess to these being ca. 7 years old) which displays their classic single malt scotch whisky on its own (entirely ex-bourbon cask matured) as well as several releases subject to different cask finishes, including a sherry cask finish (see here). For me, the most eye-catching of these Classic expressions is the chardonnay cask finish, however, for a few quid more (and I do mean only £7 or £8 extra), you can actually buy a 10 year old Glen Moray, outside of these core ranges, that has not just been finished for several months in a chardonnay cask, but has been entirely matured in ex-chardonnay casks. Served at 40% ABV, this single malt can still be picked up for around £30 in the UK.
Very fresh upfront and a lot going on – with very little boozy sting to it. There’s almonds in there and the sugary sweetness makes it smell like a tasty marzipan one-two punch. A punch is probably overstating it though as there are a lot of delicate things at play here: white grapes, green apples and a toffee sweetness. The alcohol leaves just a little trace on the finish with a sherbet-like tingle.
The light fruity sweetness continues and develops more within the mouth. The flavours remind me of toffee apples and more white grapes. The whisky’s body is very light and has a lemony/citrus zest and freshness to it. There’s a nice, malty, cereal body behind that freshness too, showing that original new-make’s origins.
Given the light body, it was inevitable that once swallowed, all those light, delicate flavours all disappear rather quickly but the whisky does leave behind a little zesty tingle and a tiny bit of oaky spice.
Well, this is a perfect whisky for the summer months. With that very light body and that lemon freshness it is one of the most refreshing whiskies that I’ve enjoyed of late. It is no pushover though and that little malty aftertaste reminds us of its origins and credentials as a single malt. As with Glen Moray’s other readily available whiskies from the supermarkets, this 10 year old is also available at a very reasonable price, especially so for the quality. This proves to me that once again it is not about the price of the whisky, but it is the quality of the dram that counts, and Glen Moray’s comparatively cheap single malts should not be overlooked but, in fact, should be explored. This whisky has also piqued my interest further into exploring the effects of different maturations and cask types beyond your standard bourbon and sherry casks…
Sample disclosure: the sample tasted to write this review was received as part of the Dram Team subscription service.
Extra: see our previous notes on the 12 year old and 15 year old in the Glen Moray Elgin Heritage range here, which we enjoyed as part of the distillery’s 120th anniversary celebrations.