Category Archives: Glen Moray

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 9 – A.D. Rattray Glen Moray 8yo, Cask # 900029


Region – Speyside – 64.8% ABV (holy moly!)

Glen Moray is one of my favorite Glens.  It is too oft overlooked. Here in the US distribution seems to a bit sporadic so therefore few really know about the brand on this side of the pond (when compared to the Glenfiddichs and Glenmorangies of the world).

Scotch Whisky Avent Calendar 2015One thing I did not expect with this particular Glen Moray was the strength that it was bottled at. Normally, Glen Moray fills their casks at 63.5% (like the majority of distilleries out there).  However, if this was casked at 63.5% how could the bottling strength be 64.8% at 8 years of age? They must’ve filled this cask at a higher ABV.

Both Tamdhu and Glenfarclas fill at around 70/71% (and Kilchoman does the same on occasion). Perhaps Glen Moray fills at a higher ABV on occasion, too? Looks like I have some investigation in front of me!

Anyway, all that aside, I have a whisky to review.  Here we go:

Scotch Whisky Avent Calendar 2015On the nose — Thick yet stinging sherry presence.  Huge peppery note on this which tells me it’s a sherry butt rather than a hogshead. Look at that! It IS a butt. I like big butts. I can not speak untruths.

Back to the scents (and my senses): potpourri, picked walnuts, cola syrup, New Chuck Taylors, tart plum, wood charr, apple tarts.

Man, I can go on and on here. This is a very expressive and impressive nose!

Scotch Whisky Avent Calendar 2015In the mouth — Requires. Water. I’m. Dying. Here.

Screw it, let’s give another sip: I guess that first sip killed the complaining taste buds because sip # 2 was not a death sentence!

I will add water but, before I do I find a sweet yet herbaceous quality to this whisky and notes of party balloons and sweet rub spices.

Scotch Whisky Avent Calendar 2015With the addition of water: Raspberry fruit leather, actual leather, watermelon covered in smoked salt, Raspberry jolly ranchers or, better yet, Red Hot Dollars (which are raspberry in flavor and not hit at all). Cherry pits and apple skin (granny smith).

Finish — Long and peppery at the back of the throat.

In sum — This whisky needs, nay, loves water. It’s a bit of a water rat. Without it, you’ll likely burn to a crisp. With it, maybe bringing it down to 58% or so, it a raspberry charmer. A bit red fruit focused but very tasty.

Single Cask Nation hits Los Angeles and one of its destinations: Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach, CA


Do you live in California and in or near the Los Angeles area?

Well, then you need to come out to Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach to see us!

Not Jewish?  Don’t worry — it’s all about the whisky.  Come ye Gentile, Come ye Jew, Come ye all lovers of great whisky!!

(See below for details on date, time, cost, how to get tickets, contact info, etc…)

Jason Johnstone-Yellin and I will be there pouring all six of the Single Cask Nation whiskies (see the image below).


Whisky details:

  • Arran 12yo Pinot Noir Cask – 8yrs first fill bourbon, 4 years pinot noir, Single Cask, Cask Strength – Double Bronze medal winner (World of Whiskies tasting panel, International Whisky Competition)
  • BenRiach 17yo (peated) – 2nd fill bourbon barrel, Single Cask, Cask Strength – Gold medal winner (International Whisky Competition)
  • Dalmore 12yo – 12yrs refill hogshead, 10mos PX sherry hogshead, Single Cask, Cask Strength
  • Glen Moray 12yo – first fill bourbon barrel, Single Cask, Cask Strength
  • Kilchoman 4yo – first fill bourbon barrel, Single Cask, Cask Strength
  • Laphroaig 6yo – refill bourbon hogshead, Single Cask, Cask Strength

Details on the events (click the image to view/download a PDF of the event flyer):

Date: Sunday, June 30th
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Address: 1101 Camino Real, Redondo Beach, CA
Modest cost for the event: $40
Contact for tickets: Lee Zaro or Aaron Krouse, 
What else comes with the tasting event other than fantastic Scotch whisky from Single Cask Nation: Hors d’oeuvres, fun, education, raffles for Single Cask Nation membership (and more).  Not party hats, sorry.



Special thanks to LZ and AK for setting up this great event and thanks, too, to Temple Menorah for having us!

Glen Moray 2yo peated spirit, Batch #1 Cask #141


Speyside region – 60.6%ABV – 20ml bottle – £18 from Royal Mile Whiskies but expect to get a different cask, cask #141 is sold out.

“…if only you applied yourself…”

“…you could do so much more if only you tried harder…”

“…you’re not living up to your full potential…”

“…seriously, why do you spend so much time in the bathroom?”

Many of us can likely identify with some of the above statements.  Just think of your time in middle school, high school, etc… and it might all come back.  Heck, I know my teachers have used at three of the above statements on me (I’ll let you choose which three).

Why do I bring this up?  Well today we’re reviewing potential whisky, AKA spirit.  This juice is only two years old.  Like a student with great potential this spirit is young and raw and gives you a good glimpse (if you spend time with it to try and understand it) as to what it *could be* given a few more years of maturity.

Let’s dive in.

On the nose  The smoke is insanely obvious on this one so let’s not talk about it right not.  I want to discover what’s ‘neath the peat smoke and there *is* a lot to discover here.

Off the bat I smell candy-style bananas (think Now and Laters).

Salty, green veggies and dirty socks (in a nostalgic way).

Apple skins, burnt as they were.

Now, I think, we can’t ignore the peat influence.  Burning tires and smouldering stuff.  Ivory soap, minus the soapiness (even though it’s full of smoke, there’s something clean in here).

Hay and barnyard (but it’s slight) and unripe red berries.

On the mouth Yes, this is 60.6% ABV.  Yes, this is spirit and not whisky but it is engaging, satisfying and so full of potential.

It all comes back to that classic Glen Moray mouthfeel.  Luscious and indulgent in its creaminess.

Malt, cream ale, peat smoke galore.

Bananas, butter cream candies and lots of salted apple-y goodness!

More notes to follow in coming years of maturity…

Finish Apples and peat smoke with a briny edge to it.  A surprisingly long finish!

In sum I really love the direction of this spirit… let me carry that further, I really love the direction that Glen Moray is going in.

Adding this to their lines of single casks and wine cask fully-matured whiskies, Glen Moray is starting to tell a new story.  They are not just a supermarket malt, there is true character in addition to the known quality.  Hear me now, within a few years, if done right, Glen Moray can and will prove themselves to be a true luxury malt.

Special thanks to IA for the sample!!

Glen Moray 10yo Chardonnay Cask

Speyside region – 40% ABV – £25 | $39

Yet another interesting release from Glen Moray; a 10yo single malt matured exclusively in ex-chardonnay barriques.

I’ve got to hand it to Glen Moray, they have no problem releasing some more off-the-beaten-track whiskies – the single chenin blanc cask as an example.

While others are finishing (many with great success) in ex-wine casks, Glen Moray is releasing full maturation versions these ex-wine casked whiskies.

This is bottled at 40% ABV (remember my admitting my whisky-snobbery regarding 40% ABV in my last Glen Moray post? – that one bottled at 60.7% ABV).  Let’s see what happens and if my snobbishness prevails or the whisky:

On the nose Triple S – Sweet, sugared and supple.  Sugary chamomile tea with lemon wedges.

It’s funny how I find most chardonnay wines to be over-oaked and find this one not to be overtaken by oak in any way.

Corn Pops cereal with paperboard box and all.

Bonkers fruit chews and other taffy like candies.

On the mouth Slightly less sweet to taste with a lovely malted backbone.

Lemon log cake.

Sweetened butter and lemony honey (watered down).  Simple syrup.

More that of that chamomile tea and even a touch of white tea (Cloud Mist to be exact).  Actually a bit salty after a couple of minutes.  Interesting.

Finish Drying toward the back of the mouth with jujyfruit-like sweetness.

In sum  This is going to sound terribly sexist but, this is a whisky for the ladies.

I say this knowing full well that more than 60-70% of the the women that come to my local tasting events prefer big, peaty whiskies.

I say this knowing that I love, love, love a good martini cosmopolitan.

I say this knowing that I love “chick-flicks” and have no issues weeping on cue.

Like the perfect mixture of bon-bons and the latest episode of General Hospital – this one is sweet, comforting and somehow indulgent.

Special thanks to IA for the sample!

Glen Moray – 8yo Chenin Blanc, Distillery Only, Single Cask bottled at 60.7% ABV

Image shown is not of the actual bottle itself but shows you what the Glen Moray distillery bottlings look like.

Speyside region – 60.7%ABV – £60 (distillery only)

Many people in the states have not heard of Glen Moray or if they have, they only know of their 12yo whisky (a solid, solid whisky if you ask me).

Most people in the UK think of Glen Moray as the supermarket single malt.  A bargain malt, if you will.

My initial experience with Glen Moray was quite different…

It started with a chance purchase of a single cask expression.  While at the time I had not known much about the distillery, I was attracted to this single cask of Glen Moray as the whisky had spent its full 13 years of life in a new charred oak cask.  Sort of like a Scottish bourbon, I thought.

Yes, obviously, nothing like a bourbon being that the distillate is 100% malted barley but perhaps a bit like an American whiskey in that the maturation took place inside a new charred oak cask (a very un-Scotch whisky thing to do, mind you).  The cask choice intrigued me so I had to buy a bottle.

In four words: I fell in love.

After this my friend David B treated me to their standard 12yo and even at lower 40% ABV — I am usually an anti-40% ABV elitist-whisky-geek prick but often find myself enjoying the strength.  A difficult position to be in… perhaps I’m a mystery broken into a jigsaw puzzle, wrapped in a conundrum, hidden in a Chinese box, a riddle — I found it to be robust, well balanced and had an amazing mouthfeel.  Thanks again David, I am a convert.

Since then I have had my good share of Glen Moray whiskies.

During my last trip to Scotland I had the good chance to visit their amazing distillery which had, perhaps, one of the most beautiful distillery welcome centers (Iain, you’ve done a bang up job!) I had ever seen.

While at their distillery shop I had the chance to taste the following whisky: Glen Moray Chenin Blanc Distillery Only Single Cask bottled at 60.7% ABV.

At only 260 bottles and being a distillery only bottle… this stuff is like hens teeth!

On the nose Earthy, pungent & sweet.  This is big and bold – a powerful smelling 8yo whisky.

Fresh cut (green) tubers come to mind as I sniff this whisky as do white cherries but, and perhaps more so, white raisins make quite an impression.

(I’m fairly positive that the preceding sentence was grammatically incorrect in some way.  Please forgive me.)

Golden birch, cinnamon sweetened fruit biscuits and the distinct smell of a burning cotton t-shirt.

On the mouth Well, if I thought the nose was big and bold, it’s a veritable pussy cat compared to the attack of this whisky upon first sip.  Massive stuff!

It let’s you know that it’s 60.7% ABV.  It’s not hot, just *incredibly* forceful.

More (dark) birch beer, quite spicy and drying with touches of over cinnamoned french toast, maple sugar candies and honey reduction.

It’s almost like drinking hi-octane Chenin Blanc except that the malt content is quite obvious (yet so is the cask effect).

Finish Very sweet and filled with boozy peaches.  Long too.  Let’s not forget that bit!

In sum  Sweet and puckering stuff.  You might want to put on your big boy/girl boots before delving in!  A little bit goes a long way.  You’re going to want to spend time with this one.

Whether you choose to add water or not is up to you.  I decided not to but a little bit might help (as you’ll learn from the review over at and another great review from Matt and Karen at Whisky For Everyone.)

Special thanks goes out to IA for the sample – cheers!