In an age where bottles of whisky are fetching astonishing figures, selling as investments rather than something to be drunk and arriving in the finest Lalique glass decanters, distilleries boasting long lost or rediscovered casks that have suddenly been located in dark dusty corners, there is a distillery quietly getting on with what is important, producing great whisky designed to be bought at an affordable price and actually drunk !!
Founded in 1897 Glen Moray distillery sits on the site of the Elgin West Brewery which can trace its history back to 1830 when the brewery was producing ale.
The history books show that spirit first flowed at the distillery on the 13th of September 1897 and was filled into an array of casks which is something the current manager, master distiller and master blender Graham Coull still believes in and practices today..
Nestled within the town of Elgin this distillery is certainly one that embraces its roots and local culture and is indeed a big part of the town as it is surrounded by the houses and is a big part of the community.
As you drive up to the distillery through the houses you would be forgiven if you think you must have taken a wrong turn but as you turn the next corner you are confronted by the entrance and distillery managers office, the rising steam and the unforgettable aromas of a working distillery.
Glen Moray distillery is one of those examples of a distillery that goes under most people’s radar as we have all seen those cheap bottles nestled on every supermarket shelf and I bet some of you haven’t even tried them, well shame on you if you haven’t as believe me there isn’t a better entry level “ cheap” example of good whisky on the market !!
In 1910 the distillery is unfortunately closed for some 13 years with production re starting in 1923 one year before the distillery puts an official bottling up for sale, the 1893 vintage was a rare thing as official single malt offerings was a new concept..
In 2005 the current Master distiller takes control of the distillery and is only the fifth master distiller in the 120 year history of Glen Moray..
The distillery is well known today for its “finishing” concepts but it’s not new or an unusual thing for the distillery as it is actually one of the first distilleries to market finished and do it properly !! And by properly I mean not to just cover up poorly matured stocks that have spent their lives in dead casks but as Graham told me he actually does most of his finishes after the initial maturation in first fill Bourbon casks..
As the brand grows in today’s market a lot of the credit has to go to Graham who is not afraid to take a risk or two and is never shy to release younger whisky that lets face it can be a risk as many peoples concept of good whisky demands that the age statement nestled on the bottle label should have two digits and never a single digit.
Graham is also one of those approachable managers who is never afraid to tell you exactly what he is up to and just exactly what the whisky has undergone in order to arrive at the finished article..
Glen Moray Bottle your own
Distillery.. Glen Moray
Cask.. First fill Bourbon #1164
This is Naturally Coloured, NCFand is part of the Bottle your own experience.
Nose.. A bowl full of fresh fruits and natural syrup is what greets you before heather honey, candied orange, chocolate and a hint of candy floss engulfs the senses.
Palate.. The fruitiness that you expected is there along with a little honeyed sweetness but this soon gives way to spices like cinnamon, pepper and fresh ginger.
Finish.. Warming spices linger..
Thoughts.. This single cask offering from the distillery is part of the Bottle your own range at Glen Moray which now offers you a choice of 3 casks, two of which are expected to be younger bottlings ( as in probably under 12 years ) and the addition of a older expression which at time of writing is a 17 year old bourbon cask retailing at £99 with the younger expressions costing £55 which in today’s market are a real bargain !!