1994 has always been a special year for me as it was the year my first daughter was born, so when Glen Moray had a live tasting on twitter and a 1994 sherry finish was involved I was more than interested.. As anyone who knows me knows I’m very partial to a sherry cask whisky so when I tasted this one I instantly fell in love with it !! Within a few days I’d ordered 2 bottles not knowing when they might be bottled ( it was that good !!! )
As the months passed and bottling was delayed a little I was advised that there would also be a bourbon cask matured and a peated expression released at the same time and all from 1994..
When the day came for delivery of my 2 bottles of the sherry finish I had to think about ordering both the bourbon and peated expressions too but thanks to Fay and Graham I have the opportunity review them first..
So today I have decided to review the trio of 94’s together in this review.. All 3 bottles are available from the distillery for £125 each..
First up is the Fully matured Bourbon cask, this is a first fill bourbon cask #4210 and is bottled at 56.4% abv..
Nose.. Big wood spice greets the nose instantly, cinnamon, fresh ginger and oak are all in there with lovely vanilla and caramel bringing in a sweet note, soft coconut, apple peel and citrus notes with pear and heather honey all giving this a great balance..
Palate.. Pow.. Those wood spices just explode in the mouth on impact, it’s like the popping candy of the whisky world.. Once your accustomed to the spices the fruity notes start to deliver along with the seeetness of the vanilla, caramel and toffee notes.
Finish.. Sweet and spicy..
2nd up is the Peated cask finish.. This beast spent its first 16 years in a first fill bourbon cask before ” leap frogging ” into an ex Islay cask.. ( did you get the hint ?) This is bottled at 56.3% abv and is from cask #904 170.. ( I assume this might be the Islay cask )
Nose.. Gentle smoke rises and mingles with vanilla, caramel and burnt toffee, a little citrus peel and chocolate notes creep in but all is so well balanced..
Palate.. There’s the peat and smoke that I expected.. A little more intense than the nose explained. The smoke just interacts with the spices so well, cinnamon, ginger and a little pepper all smoked of course. Smoked infused fruit and honey along with a hint of dark chocolate and tobacco leaf..
Finish.. Smoked infused spices.
3rd up is the 1994 sherry cask finish which again spent its first 16 years in a first fill bourbon cask before transferring to a oloroso sherry butt to receive its “finish” .. This is bottled at 56.7% abv and is from cask #904 / 57 ..
Nose.. ” smiles” Just everything you want in a sherried whisky !! Dried fruits like dates, raisins and figs, the finest Turkish delight and rich dark chocolate, aniseed, tobacco and candied orange, a hint of cherries and Bakewell tart, dunnage warehouse, maple syrup, caramel and vanilla all can be found.
Palate.. This just mirrors the nose !!
Finish.. long and delicious..
Thoughts.. As a trio of expressions these are absolutely fantastic.. They cover every base and leave no stone unturned ! The bourbon cask is intense and really does scream first fill.. The spices are huge and really let you know your drinking something good.
The peated expression is a real jekyll and Hyde whisky, the nose is quite subtle when it comes to smoke and peat but it certainly makes you aware on the palate.. very enjoyable and certainly worth having a bottle or two..
Ok the sherry finish.. I make no apologies to what I put here.. This is absolutely stunning !! It’s like a fully matured sherry butt that really screams quality.. Put a different name on this and you would instantly add another £300 to the asking price !! Which just goes to show what a bargain this whisky is.. It will take something really special for this not to be my whisky of 2017!! I have raved about it from the moment I tasted it and I will continue to sing it’s praises until the very last drop has gone.. Its simply STUNNING !!
These are all the creations of Master distiller, Master blender and chief bottle washer Graham Coull who really is a great guy, he is so eager to offer any help and advice whenever approached not to mention releasing some fantastic whisky.. Graham is always looking at new things to try and is not afraid to be bold in his selections, this also shows in the way he is running the distillery which will see it only going one way and that’s up.. He and all his staff are the reason you should not overlook Glen Moray distillery, the whisky is superb and is extremely well priced..
My thanks go out to Graham and his wife Fay who very kindly sorted these samples out for me to review..