Glen Moray, founded in 1897, is one of the many distilleries in the Speyside region of Scotland you likely know only a little bit about. Much of its whisky is used by parent company La Martiniquaise for blending purposes, but it also maintains some interesting single malt expressions and occasional special bottlings. It is one of these latter expressions we are taking note of here, the recently released Glen Moray Mastery.
Glen Moray Mastery, according to those behind it, is a very limited edition bottling, with just 1,000 bottles being made available to celebrate the distillery’s 120th anniversary. It is a 52.3% ABV expression put together by current master distiller Graham Coull from five different vintages of whisky, two of which were laid down by Coull and three of which were put to barrel by previous master distillers.
As part of putting together this expression, Coull used whiskies matured in a range of different fortified wine casks, including sherry, madeira and port. It is said that by “using the sweetness of port to bring out the best in the heavier flavours emanating from the sherry and Madeira,” he was able to add his own twist to the classic Glen Moray taste profile.
“The Madeira casks that we’ve chosen to form the heart of the whisky relate back to the genuine traditions of Glen Moray experimenting with different, innovative techniques in maturation,” said Coull in a prepared statement. “It’s me putting a twist on the spirit that was made by previous generations of master distillers.
“I wanted to bring in something from 1978, some of the oldest whisky in the warehouses, that represented whisky made by Robert Brown, the 3rd generation of Master Distiller, who was at the helm of Glen Moray from 1959 until 1987 as well as casks filled in the 80’s and 90’s by my predecessor, Ed Dodson. We’ve intertwined these with whisky that has spent its full term in first-fill sherry casks and also a proportion that has been finished in port, to develop the layers of complexity in the overall bottling. The port finished whisky brings a little lightness, which we felt perfectly balances the more robust flavours of the sherry and madeira casks in the blend.”
Should you choose to hunt down a bottle of this, expect to drop £800, or around $1,030 USD.