Glen Moray is a strange thing in the modern whisky world: a distillery that consistently releases decent and very inexpensive whisky. I recently reviewed a couple of their whiskies, the Port Cask Finish and Chardonnay Cask, and found them to be good drams for the price. The price being the key word here, for they were each less than £25 a bottle. The new Classic Sherry Cask Finish is no more expensive, coming in at £22. £22!
I wrote about Glen Moray’s background in March’s review, but suffice to say they’re a big operation, producing 3 million litres of spirit a year, and are owned by France’s second-biggest spirits group, La Martiniquaise. (I recently visited the distillery on the banks of the River Lossie for the Spirit of Speyside festival a little while back. It’s a very pleasant place – and they put on a good barbecue. It’s well worth a trip.)
The new Glen Moray Classic Sherry Cask Finish is a finish rather than full maturation in oloroso Sherry casks. The spirit has spent most of its life in American oak casks and then transferred to sherry casks for the final eight months. That sounds about right, as I suppose given Glen Moray’s light, delicate spirit, too much time in sherry could potentially be a bit overpowering.
Glen Moray Classic Sherry Cask Finish Tasting Notes
Colour: pale gold.
On the nose: youthful, subtle, creamy at first, but it very quickly opens up with plenty of toffee, dried apricots, sultanas. A touch of ginger. Glacé Cherries. Biscuits. Once the fruit fades there’s a pocket of grassiness.
In the mouth: It comes from a position of lightness and delicacy. Apricots and mango, almost tropical. Green apples. Grassiness. Hay barns. Green tea – sweetened with honey. Light brown sugar. Freshly baked bread. A slight woody note that nudges the finish into a slightly bitter territory, but those sweet, sherry qualities balance it out again. It shares a lot with the Port Cask finish and, although it isn’t as voluptuous, I actually prefer it.
Easy sipping in the sun. Panama hat pulled down across your eyes. Don’t think too hard.
£22! Glen Moray really are having a laugh at the expense of much of the whisky industry. Don’t let high price points trick you into thinking low-priced whiskies are bad. Far from it. The Glen Moray Classic Sherry Cask Finish is an affordable, elegant and well-made whisky. It is a perfect everyday drinker and is certainly my favourite of their entry-level drams.