For my first post I am delighted to copy the text from my first of a series of monthly articles being run by the Northern Scot……….
Small is beautiful at Glen Moray Distillery
It is exciting times here at Glen Moray distillery. Production is increasing and sales are booming. Since coming out from under the shadow of Glenmorangie and Ardbeg in 2008, Glen Moray has come into its own as a single malt brand; second only to a famous brand in Australia for example is not a bad performance in any one’s book.
The distillery, and the visitor centre, is not as popular as it should be. Visible from the A96, and right near the centre of Elgin, it is not the best-known distillery in the area; I have to be honest and say there are a couple of other visitor centres I would have gone to first rather than Glen Moray. There were plenty crowds however mingling around the visitor centre the day I was there, but not many of the visitors were speaking English. Not many locals, but plenty of our European friends were enjoying the facilities and the product.
The company have ambitious plans to increase production and after tasting a number of their products this is good news. Walking around the site gives you a scale of the intended increase and it is very impressive. New production and warehouse facilities are both currently being built.
The site was lovely and dry the day I visited; it was pleasing to see that the distillery did not suffer a similar fate during the recent floods as they did in previous years. Graham admitted that the site was fortunate that the local authority flood protection scheme was finished ahead of schedule in this particular area.
Even with the increase in production and ambitious plans you feel there is a sense of a small operation here, and I say that in the nicest possible terms. There was an atmosphere and ethos of “family” from Graham and his team. There was a laid-back attitude, a “can do” and “allowed to do” mentality clearly in evidence.
So what about the whisky I hear you ask? Well, I would have to say it was very nice. Given the price range of the different expressions and the age profile of the range I was pleasantly surprised in the overall quality.
The non-aged Classic single malt was very surprising; maybe I’m a “whisky snob” and have a thing against non-aged malts, but this one was fruity and buttery, with a good long finish reminiscent of the taste of sweet popcorn. Other expressions in the range include the 12 year old, 16 year old and 25 year old port wood finish, and “hot off the press” a Classic port wood finish.
The biggest surprise for me, and my clear favourite, was the 10 year old Chardonnay Cask single malt. Unusual in that the spirit was matured in the wine cask for the full ten years and not just as a finish, this malt was different in the extreme. The nose of champagne gave way to a fruity and peach flavour. There was toffee and butter on the palette, along with a full mouth feel and good finish. It was different and it was wonderful, and at a price that was attractive.
Making the brand and the different expressions accessible is one of the main strategies of Graham and he has certainly done that his range of malt whiskies; the Glen Moray Classic is one of the best bargains available in our local supermarkets at the moment. And with lots of ideas about future products in his head (and in the warehouse) Graham has more wonderful products yet to come. Look out for some very interesting expressions of Glen Moray coming our way in the near future.
Recommendation of the Month
At a very reasonable price of £25 I suggest you try the Glen Moray 10 year old Chardonnay Cask Matured, available on their website or at the visitor centre.