A 1st fill wine barrique has been utilised full-term for this 11 year old Glen Moray. View on SMWS
Nose: Immense and intense. Heavily reduced apricot crumble and caramelised pan sugars are joined by grape spirit and brandy alongside deck varnish, paint stripper and garden fences. There’s brimstone here – bummy sulphur – it passes after a few minutes in the glass. In the background, sugary cinnamon pastries. The addition of water adds burnt cream, toffee and ginger spicing. An odd duck.
Taste: The arrival is penetrating though not hostile from the ABV – there’s a ton of big flavour here – spiced cinnamon rolls, burnt toffee, spent espresso grounds and tarmac. The wine influence is explicit and tannic – immediately drying. The wood has run roughshod over the spirit – an abundance of Ronseal, patio sealant and wood panelling. Water improves things – more cask char than whole cask, adding some creamy toffee and reduced berry juice.
Finish: Quite long, becoming increasingly bitter and sour.
This Glen Moray presents a ton of impact and character – but, I fear it’ll divide the room. Some will love the intense caramelised sugars and all-pervading woodiness, but to my palate, this experiment is sadly a failure rather than a novelty. The integration is very poor – the distillery spirit is all but lost behind a wall of imbalanced, tannic wine cask oak. Heavy-handed, over-oaked and to my mind, a cask that has simply been left too way too long and then been bottled up for sale anyhow. Your mileage may vary.Score: 75/100