Bought: Morrisons, 11th September 2017
77.34/100 – Whiskybase (average from 34 member votes)
81/100 – Malt Box (video below)
I must confess I haven’t finished my bottle of Glen Moray ‘Elgin Classic’ from 2013 but when Morrisons supermarket reduced this newer version to £16 I couldn’t resist. It might be NAS (no age statement) but the distillery isn’t a mystery and it can hold its own for flavour against whiskies at double the price. I love this stuff, even if I haven’t had many occasions to finish its predecessor. The best time to drink it is when you fancy a dram but you don’t have time to give it a lot of attention. Perhaps when watching a movie or sharing it with someone who likes a whisky but isn’t a connoisseur.
Scoring just over 77/100 on Whiskybase might not sound like a great score but it’s over a point ahead of the previous version, which scores 76/100 from 51 votes. Comments online include “a very drinkable single malt at a fair price”, “young and quite harsh”, “it’s entirely acceptable to the average palate and even the Whisky expert would probably find it not without merit” and “I enjoy its crisp citrus and lemony flavours on ice with a splash of water”. Ice? Why not! It’s not as if you’ll be losing the complexity by chilling your taste buds. Several people consider the Glen Moray ‘Elgin Classic’ to be a very refreshing summer dram.
Tasting notes from Master of Malt:
Nose: Light, fresh. Grist. Nutty, floral. Dried grass. Slightly fruity.
Palate: Oak, gentle. Well balanced, walnut, grist. Citrus, lemon sponge.
Finish: Tangy citrus, spicy fruitcake.
Here’s Andy from ‘Malt Box’ with his thoughts about this Glen Moray (Sept 2017):
Bought: Morrison & Mackay, 21st June 2017
80/100 – Whiskybase (from 1 member vote)
Glen Moray 1992 forms part of the Càrn Mòr Vintage Collection produced by the Scottish Liqueur Centre (now Morrison & Mackay) between 2009 and 2012. Distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2012, this c.20yo was the second 20cl to represent the year of 1992. The first was a Glenallachie issued in 2009. The Glen Moray 1992 is a limited edition of 480, cask PP001, non-chill filtered, no added colour and 46%.
80/100 on Whiskybase is a good score albeit from only one vote. This Glen Moray is finished in a port cask, which makes it quite unique (more so in 2012). Of the 640 releases of Glen Moray listed on Whiskybase only 6 of them have a port cask finish (although some may be missing the word “port” in their title). The earliest release is from 2009, which is a 14yo cask strength scoring 90.5/100. A distillery bottled 17yo ‘port wood finish’ at 40% scores 87.2/100 from 7 votes, which is an excellent score. I’ve got a good feeling that when more votes come in for my 20yo at 46% they will be greater than 80/100 rather than less. It seems that a Glen Moray with a bit of age goes nicely with some port maturation.
In 2018 I intend to visit the Glen Moray distillery, which is within easy walking distance of Elgin town centre. Elgin is also where the Gordon & MacPhail shop is situated so I’d better make sure I take a full wallet! Glen Moray have a ‘bottle your own’ option at the distillery shop, which is not to be missed. In recent years they’ve been quite experimental with their cask finishes. Not only port and chardonnay but also cider, which sounds intriguing!
Bought: Sainsbury’s, 25th July 2016
85/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
87/100 – Scotch Malt Whisky
80.87/100 – Whiskybase (average from 65 member votes)
A new expression from Glen Moray and it’s another little cracker. As mentioned in the ‘Scotch Malt Whisky’ review it is “young but it is also fun and very enjoyable, some decent sherry casks at work here”. Glen Moray have certainly cornered the market in affordable single malt with this new ‘Sherry Cask Finish’ available at Sainsbury’s supermarket for £22. This seems to be the standard price for Glen Moray, such as the Classic and Peated versions but watch out for reductions down to £20 or even £18.
85/100 in the Whisky Bible 2017 classify this new expression from Glen Moray as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. The author, Jim Murray, says “must be a cream sherry, because this is one exceptionally creamy malt. A bit of a late sulphur tang wipes off a few marks, but the delicious grapey positives outweigh the negatives.”
Here are the tasting notes by Master of Malt:
Nose: Raisin and milk chocolate, with a backbone of butterscotch sweeties.
Palate: Cinnamon starts to develop on the palate, giving it an enjoyable warmth. Still rich in caramel and butterscotch.
Finish: Medium length, with a hint of five-spice.
Here’s The Whiskey Dic’s You Tube review (April 2018):
Bought: Morrisons, 5th June 2015
87.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
80.4/100 – Whiskybase (average from 12 member votes)
As you can see from the photo below I really like the new Glen Moray ‘Peated’ – or do I? Perhaps I just love the price. At a pocket-friendly £20 (when on offer) it’s one of the cheapest single malts you can buy. But if it were rubbish I wouldn’t go back for more. Glen Moray are masters at filling that budget whisky gap slightly below the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve and Glenfiddich 12yo. The excellent Aberlour 10yo can sometimes drop to £20 but where are the Islay malts?! Where is that hit of peat at a budget price?! Glen Moray spotted the gap in the market and decided to fill it.
When I first bought the Glen Moray ‘Peated’ a few months ago it was scoring over 82/100 on Whiskybase. Now more votes are in the score is starting to level off. But over 80 is excellent, especially when you look at the Glen Moray ‘Classic’ which scores 77/100 (from 8 member votes). The ‘Peated’ is certainly not an Islay but that shot of peat makes it more interesting than the ‘Classic’ Glen Moray.
If you see the Glen Moray ‘Peated’ on offer for £20 or less I’d recommend getting it. As a budget whisky I’d say it was in my top 3 along with the Aberlour 10yo and ASDA ‘Extra Special Islay Malt’. Once you’re up at the heady-heights of £25 it’s a whole new ball game with the likes of the Highland Park 12yo in there but that’s a different story. The fact I bought a second bottle of this Glen Moray without thinking “I should save my £20 and put it towards an Ardbeg 10yo” speaks volumes for how good this budget whisky is. Or perhaps it just confirms what a miser I am!
Update (1/1/16) – Jim Murray has added the ‘Peated’ to his Whisky Bible 2016 and giving it a fantastic score of 87.5/100, which equates to “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. To be fair to the ‘Classic’ he only scores it one point less but I’m glad such an experienced taster agrees with me about the quality of the Glen Moray Peated. 🙂
Bought – Sainsbury’s, 8th October 2014
73.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
79.46/100 – Whiskybase (average from 26 member votes)
85/100 – Ralfy – His review on YouTube (April 2014)
All the Whisky Bible has to say about this Glen Moray is “tighter than a wine cork” and 73.5/100 classifies it as “usually drinkable but don’t expect the earth to move”. Although Jim Murray, the Whisky Bible author, has many years experience, it’s only one opinion but quite a damning one. But when Sainsbury’s reduced it to £20 this Glen Moray popped back onto my radar as a potential bargain buy. Time to read other opinions!
I know scoring less than 80 points on Whiskybase isn’t great but one reviewer who gave 70/100 had nothing but positive things to say. It makes you realise that one person’s scoring system is rarely the same as another’s. What convinced me to give this 10-year-old a chance was the Whiskybase reviewer who said the taste had improved over time in an open bottle and “this is good whisky and shows why this distillery should be taken seriously.”
Matured exclusively in ex wine casks, the Glen Moray 10yo is bound to be different from the more mainstream maturation in sherry and bourbon wood but that’s what makes it interesting, even if it’s not perfect. Worth the money? I would say so, especially given Ralfy’s review and rating.
Bought – ASDA, 31st July 2013
86.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
84/100 – Ralfy – His review on YouTube (November 2013)