As a prelude leading up to Single Cask Nation’s Whisky Jewbilee in two weeks I’ll be reviewing a few samples that were generously provided by Jason Johnston-Yellin. If you haven’t gotten your tickets to this wonderful event, you should use this “nyheart13” discount code to get 10% off! You don’t have to feel guilty for spending $100 on a whisky event, some of the ticket proceeds will go to a non-profit providing free breast cancer and ovarian cancer support services.
The first sample I’m reviewing comes from Glen Moray distillery which started it’s life as a brewery in 1831. Located along the picturesque banks of Elgin’s river Lossie the distillery is in an idyllic location. Elgin lies within the Speyside whisky making region. In 1897 the brewery was converted into a malt whisky distillery with two stills. It is currently owned by La Martiniquaise, a French drink company, who acquired the distillery from Moet Hennessy in 2008. Much of the spirit distilled at Glen Moray is used in La Martiniquaise’s popular blended brands: Label 5 and Glen Turner. This may come as a surprise to the US whisky fanbase, but Glen Moray out paces heavyweights Laphroaig and Macallan as one of the biggest selling single malts in the UK. Expanded in 2012, the distillery now produces 3,300,000 liters annually.
Single Cask Nation’s Glen Moray is 12 years old and was aged in a first fill ex-bourbon cask. First fill ex-bourbon casks are the most desired when aging in ex-bourbon casks because they will impart more flavor than a second or third fill cask. The cask was distilled in June 2000 and bottled in August 2012 at a cask strength 56.1% ABV. This is an exclusive whisky to be sure since the cask yielded just 148 bottles. You can only purchase it as a member of Single Cask Nation.
Nose: vanilla custard, sweet honey, stewed apples, oaky, bananas
Mouth: vanilla, rich butter, spicy, bold, sweet pears, apricots
Finish: peppery, long lingering, fruity sweetness, cherries, cream, lingering oily quality (like butter)
Verdict: First off I’m surprised that this whisky is 56.1% ABV; it tastes much lighter and is suitable for sipping without adding water. The nose is lovely with hints of vanilla custard, sweet honey and stewed apples. The palate had me exclaiming, I can’t believe it’s not butter. There is an unmistakable rich butteryness, sweet pears, apricots and some spice. Cherry flavors surprised me on the long lingering finish. Overal this whisky exhibits various fruits (apples, pears, apricots, cherries) in the best possible way. This dram actually conjurs up memories of the Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel which is a good thing because that was the highest rated whisky that I’ve reviewed thus far. This whisky is dangerous because it’s such an easy sipper, but is actually very strong. Single Cask Nation has selected a very delicious Glen Moray for it’s members.