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Monday, December 9, 2019

Glen Moray 14 year old 2004 Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary

Though they've recently been tinkering with a slew of NAS whiskies, Glen Moray had a range of low-priced age-stated single malts for the past decade or two. Even though their prices were fair, I have nearly no experience with that distillery's output. Like so many other Glens their official whisky is artificially colored, chillfiltered and diluted to the max so my interest was minimal.

I wrote about the distillery's history three years ago, and have little to add except that the year this single cask was distilled (2004) was when the former Macdonald & Muir sold the distillery to LVMH. So, I'm not sure if this was distilled under Bill Lumsden's supervision or not. Or if it even matters. If you've had more experience with Glen Moray and know of a style change please let me know in the comment section below. I'm all for more whisky education, of both words and liquid. And today's liquid learning was sent to me by My Annoying Opinions (thanks, Teach!) who has posted a simultaneous review of this same whisky this very morning!

Distillery: Glen Moray
Owner: La Martiniquaise
Region: Speyside (Elgin)
Bottler: Hunter Laing
Series: Old Malt Cask
Age: 14 years old (April 2004 - August 2018)
Maturation: probably a hogshead
Outturn: 337
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? No

Quite a bit of bread, cheese and herbs in the nose at first. The herbs remain but the other two float off. There's also a vegetable broth note. Small notes of lemon juice, flower blossoms and vanilla linger. The whisky has an unusual palate that closely matches the nose. Definitely a salty broth note on top of a citrus base. Then little bits of corn syrup and mint. The finish is very tangy and lightly sweet. Minor notes of black pepper and copper/blood.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or 1 tsp of water per 30ml of whisky
The nose shifts and opens up a little. Though a grassy note leads the way, there's also apple peel, lemon zest, toasted coconut and smoked almonds. The palate stays lean and tangy. Barley, oats and sweetness make up the rest. It finishes tangy and yeasty with toasted grains and an herbal bitterness.

Paler than a Kravitz in winter, this whisky reminds me of the ol' green bottle Cadenheads releases, though much less violent. It reads new and young, though not off-putting, instead crisp and spirit-forward. What it sacrifices is any sort of complexity. It delivers quirk, salt, herbs and tang (lowercase "t"), no more, no less. Perhaps this is close to the distillery's style?

Availability - Probably fewer than a dozen European retailers
Pricing - £55-£65
Rating - 82, preferred with water