What Whisky will not Cure, There is no Cure for
Glen Moray Fired Oak ten year is a rich, beautifully sweet and smokey Speyside dram. Whether on its own or in a cocktail, it’s a winter warmer
Review by Andy Barnham
Tell me about Glen Moray
Glen Moray is a Speyside distillery, located in the Scottish town of Elgin, that produces single malt scotch whisky. It started life as a brewery and was converted to a distillery, with two stills, in 1897 with the first drops running from the copper pot stills on 13th September. It was closed in 1910 before being bought in the 1920s by the owners of the Glenmorangie Distillery, the MacDonald and the Muir families. It received two more stills in 1958 and in 2004 Glenmorangie was bought by LVMH. In 2008 Glen Moray was sold to La Martiniquiase, France’s second largest spirit group. It currently has an annual capacity of two million litres and only five men have held the title of Master Distiller, the most recent being Graham Coull who has created this new offering.
Speyside? And what’s the attraction of a single malt?
The Spey is a river in the northeast of Scotland and the ninth longest river in the UK as well as being the third longest and fastest flowing in Scotland. Speyside is the name given to the area from Grantown- on -Spey to the mouth of the river at Spey Bay and is one of the main centres of the Scotch whisky industry. To be a single malt, the whisky must have been distilled in a single distillery using a pot still and made from a mash of malted barley. It then must be aged in matured oak casks in Scotland for at least three years and a one day. The aim of this is to make a distinctive flavour to exemplify the style of the distillery compared to a blend which, as the name suggest, is a blend of two or more malt and/or grain whiskies.
Matured oak casks? And so where does a Fired Oak cask come into the equation?
Glen Moray, like a lot of scotch distilleries, sources their matured oak from America and Bourbon distilleries who have to use new oak casks. Using new oak imparts intense flavour to their spirit and after being used are then shipped over to Scotland for use in the Scottish whisky industry. Estimates suggest 97 per cent of all Scottish whisky is now maturing in American oak. As they’re surplus to requirements after use in the USA, they’re considered quite cheap compared to other types of casks like sherry or port.
After ten years in ex-Bourbon casks, Glen Moray then finishes this whisky in heavily charred vigin American Oak casks, resulting in a whisky which is incredibly smooth with spice and tasted vanilla flavours. This process enhances existing flavours rather than adding new characteristics and lasts 10 months which sees the whisky deepen in colour and take on the vanilla and smokiness from the charred oak.
So is it any good?
A huge amount of effort has gone into every bottle, let alone the time involved. The result does certainly taste spicy and smokey. It is also a lot sweeter than other Glen Moray offerings, and is perfect in an Old Fashioned, should you like the cocktail.
Enquiries: Glen Moray/ www.glenmoray.com
Also available via Amazon