Distillery: Glen Moray
Age: 16 years old
Let’s start off with the elephant in the room… the packaging. Although decked out in typical Glen Moray colours, the 16 year old does stand out. For it comes in a tin tube amply decorated with depictions of the Scottish Highland Regiments. Love it or hate it (I love it), you can’t deny it’s educational. Inside the tube we find the distinctive Glen Moray bottle, shaped like a pot still.
Although there’s a wealth of information on the packaging, little is said about the ageing process this 16 year old has undergone. It’s reportedly a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, and it’s not hard to find this back in the flavour profile. Whatever the maturation process, the 16 year old is another beauty from the ever affordable Glen Moray distillery.
Colour: Sparkling gold
Nose: Subtly sweet, with aromas of honey and dried fruit. Quite zesty, as scents of apricot give way to tangerines sprinkled with brown sugar. The sherry cask brings nutty perfumes, with walnut and almonds particularly prominent. As friendly and mellow as can be, this Glen Moray is a classic Speyside.
Palate: As smooth and affable as before, although I wouldn’t exactly call it restrained. A bit of spice develops, but the nutty profile continues to reign supreme. Vanilla cream mixes with caramel syrup and a pinch of salt. Through it all, that soft, honeyed Speyside barley is not lost, but is accentuated by butterscotch and chocolate praline. This is quite a well-balanced dram.
Finish: Not a bad length, carrying barley and nuts in equal measure, and leaving us with the merest trace of wood smoke.
Verdict: Glen Moray 16 year old sure lives up to the “Elgin Classic” advertised on the cork. The malt balances beautifully with nuts, dried fruit, oak and a hint of spice, producing a quintessential Speyside dram. Jim Murray recently described this whisky as “drab”, but I’d have to disagree. I’m easily put off by a soft, boring whisky, but these monikers don’t fit this Glen Moray at all. Keeping in mind that this is also one of the cheapest 16 year olds available, you really can’t go wrong with Glen Moray 16 year old. This is a good bang for your buck, so be sure to give it a try!