- Ramblings of Andy
At the Whisky Lounge York Whisky Festival in October, we were treated to a special Glen Moray Sherry Finish from 1994 by Sorren Krebs a.k.a @ocdwhisky. You can listen to our round table tasting in our latest podcast episode.
In recent years, the brand is perhaps more often seen on supermarket shelves in the guise of the "Elgin Classic" range, which comes in bourbon cask, peated, port, chardonnay and sherry finish forms. The range, launched in 2014, retails at somewhere around the £22-£26 mark (a little more for the port finish) so it's actually only a handful of coins more expensive than the standard range of blends. In fact, until 2008 most of the whisky produced at Glen Moray was used in blends so it's impressive to have converted from blend producer to a wide range of respected single malts in less than a decade.
I've tried the bourbon cask expression previously which I found to be a little sweet but impressively floral for a budget malt, and I'd heard even better things about the sherry cask finish, not least from Sorren's blog on the matter. It's fair to say the cost benefit analysis on buying a bottle to test out didn't take long and you get a pretty nicely packaged bottle of malt with change from three tenners.
On the nose, it doesn't perhaps "pop" the way a really good sherry finish whisky might but it's got the dark caramel, dried fruits and hint of sweet spice you would look for. The palate is quite slow to begin with but soon washes in on a wave of dark chocolate, ginger snaps and a hint of oak char. The finish is medium length and the sweet spice is what lingers.
Throughout the podcast and occasional blog reviews, I've always tried my best to separate the price of the whisky and its merits as a dram, but from time to time a whisky is so reasonably, or indeed over-priced, that it would be ridiculous not to comment. This is a bottle of whisky that represents breathtaking value for money, I've had sherry cask finish whiskies that triple the price from respected distilleries that had less character about them.
My recommendation for this whisky is to buy a bottle (try not to giggle with glee at the checkout) and keep it on the shelf to re-visit from time to time. It will serve as both an enjoyable dram and a valuable reminder that good whisky doesn't have to break the bank. It should perhaps also serve as a warning to many other distillers that decent, affordable NAS malt is out there - and you can't fool whisky drinkers.