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Tasting Notes: Glen Moray 30 Years Old (Murray McDavid)

Glen Moray 30yo

September 2017 marked the 120th anniversary of Glen Moray distillery having been first opened and having constantly crafted the water of life. 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.

49% ABV

Nose

M: Creamy. Really creamy. A real vanilla bomb. Very little boozy prickle in the nostrils. Really rounded honey and cream. Some gentle sweet fruits there too like papaya. 

Taste

M: Vanilla custard. Just like Portuguese tarts. Sweet oak in there too, which intensifies on the way down too.

Finish

M: The alcohol only shows itself on the finish as it warms on the way down. Suddenly that 49% is really prominent and leaves a peppery kick.

Verdict

M: Having tried a few of Glen Moray’s NAS cask finish series releases, I’ve enjoyed their light body and varying flavours and that was what I came to expect of Glen Moray. Delicate and woody. The recent comparison of the 12yo and 15yo however, evidenced a stark difference in flavours and body as a result of a few extra years, so the prospect of 30 years in barrel made me think that this dram would basically taste like chewing a stave. Instead it seems that 30 years have infused nothing but pure vanilla sweetness with a finish that is just sooooo smooth, and at just under 50% ABV, this dram is dangerously easy to drink. At £225 RRP for a bottle though… a small sample is all I’ll be able to enjoy at this stage…

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Tasting Notes: Benromach – Chateau Cissac

Benromach – Chateau Cissac

Speyside’s Benromach have been rapidly expanding their range of whiskies available in recent years, with a solid core range and then seasonal additional releases. One area that has particularly piqued whisky enthusiasts’ interests is their experimentation with different cask influences via their “Wood Finish” series within the “Contrasts” range – see notes on their Triple Distilled release here. This limited new release has been initially matured in ex-bourbon casks and “is finished for 25 months in hand-selected casks from the illustrious Château Cissac within the Appellation Haut-Médoc Contrôlée in South-western France” (to use their own words).

45%ABV

 

Nose

M; Bonfire smoke straight away. A lovely dry smoke & then followed by red fruits – the other way round to a usual smoky dram, when the smoke usually comes last. The smoke reminded me of that smoke you get in German smoked sausages or smoked cheese or any of the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier range (but in whisky form, obviously).

 

Taste

M: It is smoke and fruit in equal parts upfront. Blood orange and oaked red wine.  The toasty smoke intensifies with the booze on the way down.

 

Finish

M: The red berries fade and the smoke peters out and leaves a drying red wine kind of finish.

 

Verdict

M: The more I’ve tried whiskies that have been stored in old red wine barrels, the more I’ve liked them and this is no exception. This is a really rich and fruity whisky that has been coupled with Benromach’s signature smoke, which seems to be more intense in this whisky than in others of theirs, which I guess must have been amplified by the wine casks. There were a lot of flavours at play here and this is definitely one for savouring over time, and definitely fits our current seasonal move into autumn. Sold by the spiel, I may also have to try and find some of the wine itself, but for now, I’ll stick to the whisky.

Benromach Tweet Tasting


PS Many thanks, as ever, to Steve Rush and Benromach for the @TweetTastings via @TheWhiskyWire for the samples and spreading the joy.

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Tasting Notes: English Whisky Company – Chapter 9 

English Whisky Co – Chapter 9 (Peated)

Based down in Norfolk, the English Whisky Co has been making ripples in single malt production as England’s primary whisky distillers. Their marketing from day one has been very clever as it invites people along the distillery’s own journey and development, by inviting drinkers to enjoy each “chapter” within their whisky making book. The Chapter 9 release is their second peated expression, and being such, their first readily available release (with the first one – Chapter 8 – having sold out pretty quickly!), which has been matured solely in  ex-bourbon casks and has been bottled at 46% ABV. 

 

Nose

M: Dry smoke. Pretty gentle, and ‘clean’ smoke, Bit of oak in there too. There’s a sweet, tingly smell there too, that reminds me of Parma Violets.

Taste

M: Really firey. Fresh. Young. Then, when you’ve got used to the booze, there is malt and caramel. After a bit of time and/or a bit of water it mellows to a smooth caramel flavour with a gentle smoky backbone. Like the tingly sweetness of “fruit” flavour sweets like love hearts. Just a touch of the Laphroaig medicinal/iodine about it.

Finish

M; Fantastic peat embers. That firey kick subsides and coats the silky sweet texture and a good smoky aftertaste. Great balance.

Verdict

M: I’ve tried a few of the English Whisky Co’s chapters now but this is the first time I’ve tried a peated one and I like what I’ve tasted here! It’s not a smoky heavyweight but it’s far from being bantam! (Found myself groaning at that one). Pretty light, refreshing and surprisingly more-ish for a smoked whisky. I’m not exactly getting “salty chips” like the Dram Team’s tasting notes though, but am happy to have another go.

 

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