The latest Glen Moray Curiosity sees new Head of Whisky Creation Kirstie McCallum pick up where Graham Coull left off which an expression which from the outset doesn’t sound quite as experimental at the two previous editions. Whilst madeira is not a frequent cask fill there are plenty of examples of madeira matured whisky that have been produced over the last few years. However, look under the hood and you’ll see that this Glen Moray edition *is* a little different – madeira’s use for maturation is principally as a finishing cask. Here, in the third Glen Moray Curiosity we see its utilised for a rather rare full-term maturation.
Originally filled on 26th May 2006 and left to mature in the distillery’s No.1 warehouse, the small selection of madeira hogsheads which have been used to create this latest Cask Project was left to mature for 13 years and 10 month in the famous Portuguese fortified wine produced on the island of the same name.
Nose: Immediately expressive of toffee and bubbling pan sugars. Cardamom poached pears lead into freshly fallen leaves, greenhouse vines and high percentage cocoa solid chocolate before the underlying maltiness of the spirit takes hold with oatcakes, digestive biscuits and brown bread. The addition of water reveals a creamy core with fudge and butterscotch alongside hedgerow berries and pancake batter.
Taste: Syrupy on the arrival with the natural weight of the spirit evident. Blackberries and underripe plum are macerated together with pear slices in a rich tincture of liquorice and cinnamon sticks. Dark chocolate is one more on the menu – served alongside a cup of freshly made espresso and a slice of ginger cake. Reduction softens this up with plenty more bakery in the form of Viennese swirls and custard creams.
Finish: Medium to long with persistent ginger and nutmeg spicing.
Somewhat surprisingly, the full-term madeira maturation of this latest Glen Moray Elgin Curiosity Cask Project has not resulted in a whisky which entirely reflects the underlying sweetness of the fortified wine. Yes there is a rich syrupiness and notes of berries and chocolate etc – but, these are unexpectedly restrained given the length maturation within the wood type. An after-dinner whisky yes – but one which still have plenty of vibrancy and kick as opposed to the saccharine opulence which one might expect. I like it. But I don’t love it.
But don't take our word for it..
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