The Speyside distillery Glen Moray is located in Elgin and has been in operation since 1897. Drawing its waters from the nearby River Lossie, the distillery produces a wide variety of whiskies divided into four main ranges: Elgin Classic, Elgin Heritage, Elgin Reserve and Elgin Presitige. The affable Elgin-born Master Distiller Graham Coull has been with the distillery since 2005 having previously worked with William Grant. Coull has been at the forefront of the development of the new ranges (including the recently released Glen Moray Mastery) and is regularly seen out and about worldwide (and on social media) extoling the virtues of the distillery and its range of interesting expressions.
The Elgin Classic selection of whiskies can be seen as the entry-point to Moray’s range, but until many other distilleries with a single expression, in this category, Glen Moray is all about the choice. There's five to choose from – Classic, Classic Sherry, Classic Peated, Classic Port Cask, and Classic Chardonnay Cask. Today we’ll take a look at the Classic Peated. It’s matured in ex-bourbon casks, bottled at 40% ABV and described as ‘intense and subtly-smoked’.
Nose: Well defined peat smoke straight away - part floral, part coastal, slightly sweet and a touch ashy/char-like. A clear citrus runs throughout, taking on elements of lemon meringue and key lime pies. Vanillins combine with herbal aromas of garden pollens and tree sap. There’s a touch of ginger which provides an interesting spicy affection. Overall, clean and fresh.
Taste: A very decent arrival for 40% ABV, and whilst this is clearly young and sprightly, it carries its youth quite well. Black tea, lemon tart, charred pineapple and stone fruits alongside a more delicate smoke than was perceptible on the nose. It’s all rather crisp and has an underlying minerality to it.
Finish: Short to medium in length with a hint of slowly dying wood fire embers.
Glen Moray Elgin Classic Peated is on the one hand a light and unassuming whisky and on the other, crisp, defined and perfect for an early autumn evening. It’s worth mentioning the price point – which at around £25 represents seriously good value for money. You might even see this in your local supermarket discounted down to around £20. Whilst there’s nothing radical about this dram, at that price it’s a steal.