Glen Moray

Happy Birthday Glen Moray!

Today sees Glen Moray distillery celebrate its 120th birthday, because on 13th September 1897 the little distillery based in Elgin made its first batch of new-make spirit. In order to join in on the celebrations, I’ve taken my two Dram Team miniatures and have done a side-by-side comparison of their cracking Elgin Heritage releases.

Glen Moray 12yo Elgin Heritage

12 Year Old Elgin Heritage

40% ABV


Nose

Light. Really light. It’s only got a gentle boozy tingle on the nose but seems quite perfumed – kinda like nail polish fumes, but in a good way?! If I had to pick one smell, then it would be barley. Pure and simple.

Taste

Light vanilla upfront. More of the same barley flavours from the nose. Light oak/barrel influence toward the end.

Finish

Over and done with pretty quickly, leaving a warming, vanilla taste. Simple and effective! 

Verdict

Very simple. Very easy drinking. Maybe too simple and too easy drinking if you’re after a whisky for savouring. The quality is not in question though and with this palate you could drink a lot of this. Pure and simple.
 

Glen Moray 15yo Elgin Heritage

15 Year Old Elgin Heritage

40% ABV


Nose

And there’s the body!! The barrel’s influence is so much more present. A slight bit of salinity to the smell and a lot more barley too. Like all the light notes of the 12yo have bulked up and come out to play. Caramel sweetness throughout.

Taste
Rich caramel flavours continue – sweetness up front but things soon take a turn and the flavours become more and more savoury and ultimately leave a black peppery spice.

Finish

Woody. Really woody. Like, chewing on some wood kinda woody. The peppery flavours have removed all that initial sweetness and it coats your thought with a spiciness that could cure the common cold.

Verdict

Well, what a difference the 3 years seem to make. I’m not sure if there are different types of barrel used but this has such a contrast to the 12yo. This I couldn’t drink too much of! Lots of flavours for savouring, with some strong elements at play. My personal preference would have been for the sweetness to stick around a bit longer, but that is hardly a criticism. Maybe my perfect Glen Moray Elgin Heritage would split the difference and be a 13.5 yo? Either way, these are two different drams that are both rather good at what they do.

Elgin Heritage Head-to-Head

Edit: Thanks to @faycoull “Mr Master Distiller’s wife” of Glen Moray for confirming that the 15yo is combination of ex-Bourbon and Sherry Cask whiskies which are married just before bottling! 👍🏻

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