Region – Speyside – 64.8% ABV (holy moly!)
Glen Moray is one of my favorite Glens. It is too oft overlooked. Here in the US distribution seems to a bit sporadic so therefore few really know about the brand on this side of the pond (when compared to the Glenfiddichs and Glenmorangies of the world).
One thing I did not expect with this particular Glen Moray was the strength that it was bottled at. Normally, Glen Moray fills their casks at 63.5% (like the majority of distilleries out there). However, if this was casked at 63.5% how could the bottling strength be 64.8% at 8 years of age? They must’ve filled this cask at a higher ABV.
Both Tamdhu and Glenfarclas fill at around 70/71% (and Kilchoman does the same on occasion). Perhaps Glen Moray fills at a higher ABV on occasion, too? Looks like I have some investigation in front of me!
Anyway, all that aside, I have a whisky to review. Here we go:
On the nose — Thick yet stinging sherry presence. Huge peppery note on this which tells me it’s a sherry butt rather than a hogshead. Look at that! It IS a butt. I like big butts. I can not speak untruths.
Back to the scents (and my senses): potpourri, picked walnuts, cola syrup, New Chuck Taylors, tart plum, wood charr, apple tarts.
Man, I can go on and on here. This is a very expressive and impressive nose!
In the mouth — Requires. Water. I’m. Dying. Here.
Screw it, let’s give another sip: I guess that first sip killed the complaining taste buds because sip # 2 was not a death sentence!
I will add water but, before I do I find a sweet yet herbaceous quality to this whisky and notes of party balloons and sweet rub spices.
With the addition of water: Raspberry fruit leather, actual leather, watermelon covered in smoked salt, Raspberry jolly ranchers or, better yet, Red Hot Dollars (which are raspberry in flavor and not hit at all). Cherry pits and apple skin (granny smith).
Finish — Long and peppery at the back of the throat.
In sum — This whisky needs, nay, loves water. It’s a bit of a water rat. Without it, you’ll likely burn to a crisp. With it, maybe bringing it down to 58% or so, it a raspberry charmer. A bit red fruit focused but very tasty.