Founded in 1897 and sitting on the site where the Elgin West Brewery once occupied the distillery can trace its history back to 1830 when the brewery was producing ale.
The history books show that spirit first flowed at the distillery on the 13th of September 1897, this spirit was then filled into an array of casks for maturation which was something the distillery was to carry on throughout its history.
Nestled within the town of Elgin this distillery is certainly one that embraces its roots and local culture and is indeed a big part of the town, it is surrounded by a large housing estate and is a big part of the community.
As you drive up to the distillery through the houses you would be forgiven if you thought you had taken a wrong turn, but as you turn the next corner you are confronted by the entrance and what was the distillery managers office, the rising steam and the unforgettable aromas of a working distillery.
Glen Moray distillery is one of those examples of a distillery that goes under most people’s radar! We have all seen those cheap bottles nestled on every supermarket shelf and I bet some of you haven’t even tried them, well shame on you if you haven’t as believe me there isn’t a better entry level “ cheap” example of good whisky on the market !!
In 1910 the distillery is unfortunately closed for some 13 years with production re starting in 1923 one year before the distillery puts an official bottling up for sale, the 1893 vintage was a rare thing as official single malt offerings was a new concept..
In 2005 the last Master distiller had taken control of the distillery and was only the fifth master distiller in the 120 year history of Glen Moray.. Now the distillery sits under the watchful eye of Kirstie McCallum who joins the company after spending some time as the senior blender at Distel. Kirsty takes up the title of head of whisky creation which is a new position for the owners La Martiniquaise-Bardinet’s .
The distillery is well known for its “finishing” concepts but it’s not new or an unusual thing for the distillery as it is actually one of the first distilleries to market finished and do it properly !! And by properly I mean not to just cover up poorly matured stocks that have spent their lives in dead casks but as the previous manager / master distiller/ master blender told me, he actually did most of his finishes after the initial maturation in first fill Bourbon casks..
As the brand grows in today’s market a lot of the credit has to go to owners who were not afraid to take a risk or two and let the people at the distillery try to innovate. They were never shy to release younger whisky, nor where they ever afraid to push the boundaries just a little on occasion.
2006 Warehouse 1 – 14 year old Sauternes
Released as part of a new range this limited edition cask strength expression has spent 14 years maturing and has been made up with only 5 casks.
Distillery.. Glen Moray
Age.. 14 years
Nose.. An initial sweetness rises with candied orange, milk chocolate, summer fruits and a delicious lip smacking Orange marmalade on toast aroma.. Honey makes an appearance along with the faintest lemon drizzle cake note.
Palate.. That orange marmalade on toast starts off where it finished on the nose along with chocolate and honey. A nice little cinnamon note starts to filter through and carries some dried fruits and fresh apple peels with it, add some plum and a hint of ginger.
Finish.. Deliciously sweet with a twist of spice and dried fruit
Thoughts.. Initially there isn’t as much sweetness on the palate as expected from the nose but that changes rapidly, this should carry a sweetness warning.. That said don’t worry if you have not got a sweet tooth as this does balance out with some quality fresh fruit notes and soft oak notes..
As always from Glen Moray this whisky does not disappoint in any way, in fact i would go as far as saying this only helps to emphasise the quality of spirit and casks the distillery has to offer and shows that the distillery will keep on going from strength to strength..
Superb stuff from Glen Moray once again..