Wednesday 11 September 2019

Whiskysponge Glen Moray Thirtysomething

These days Glen Moray probably has a rather better reputation than it had a decade or two ago, thanks to the tireless work of Distillery Manager Alumnus Graham Coull, so it's a wee bit harsh of the Sponge to label this bottle with an admittedly funny, but definitely backward looking, label.

Then again, the Sponge is cursed to know whisky-that-was better than pretty much everybody, to remember and lament the Heroic age of drams, so we should probably forgive him/her/it for referencing the time when Glen Moray was the unloved third child of the suitcase-vending owners of Ardbeg and Glenmorangie.

(And besides, who among us does not love a bargain? If, in 2005, you had the choice between some dubious United Spirits blend for £15 or a single malt with an age statement, no matter how overtly Chardonoid, for £18, of course you would buy the Glen Moray. Probably two bottles.)

All of this prefatory material is to prepare you to be disappointed, or at the very least, jaded. So that, should you be lucky enough to actually taste the whisky, your joy will be all the purer and more unalloyed.

I should explain, by the by, that this tasting note is a joint effort between myself and the Whisky Wuman. We tasted this Glen Moray courtesy of a sample from the Whisky Sponge, and discussed it as we were taking notes, thus simultaneously illuminating and polluting each other's thoughts.

So, throats having been cleared, and positions having been established, I have to say that this whisky is absolutely fabulous. It has aged beautifully in a none too active cask, it shows a marvellous progression from the ester-heavy youth of good Glen Moray to a mature, oxidised, yet still fruity, concentrated dram, a waxy, umami-laden delight which references Clynelish and the best of Knockdhu.

It's remarkably clean for a thirty-seven year old dram, with not even a hint of dunnage character (and it's worth remarking than dunnage character is highly desirable, so this bottling is all the better for being so very tasty without relying on that crutch).

If I had to euphemise it, SMWS-style, it would be, "Spiced Grilled Peaches In A Dusty Hessian Sack". The non-commercial five word tasting note, per Peynaud, is, "Waxy fruit. Waxy brown fruit". And the score, for those of you who like numbers, is (on a scale of 0-5): 6+.