Glen Moray Reveals Distillery Edition Range, We Taste New Trio

Glen Moray has unveiled three new expressions of its single cask malts for this year’s Distillery Edition range, and they’re the oldest wine-finished whiskies it’s ever released.

The three expressions in the 2020 Distillery Edition range have been fully matured in ex-wine casks for between 16 and 17 years, after being laid down between 2003 and 2004 in the Distillery’s Warehouse 1 – home to Glen Moray’s curious casks and maturation experiments. All three expressions are non-chill filtered, bottled at cask strength and with natural colour.

To ensure whisky fans don’t miss out, Glen Moray is offering personal phone consultations, where four members of its team will guide callers through the range, make recommendations, answer questions and take orders in person.

Brand Ambassador and Distillery Visitor Centre Manager Iain Allan will lead the effort alongside Hannah Levy (Assistant Manager), Ieva Hancock (Visitor Centre Assistant) and Laurie-May Macdonald (Cafe Supervisor). Iain came up with the idea as a contrast to all the virtual, online whisky events that have been taking place during lockdown, and as a way to deliver a personal touch during the buying process.

“Buying a bottle of Glen Moray from our annual Distillery Edition is as much about the experience of a visit to the Distillery as it is about buying a wonderful new whisky,” explains Iain. “For the many people who would normally make the trip and take away one of these special bottles, we wanted to find a way to make the range available but avoid making it just a basic transaction over email or the internet. Everyone working at the Distillery enjoys nothing more than talking about whisky with fellow enthusiasts, answering questions and sharing behind the scenes stories of how Glen Moray is made. So if you can’t visit in person this year, please just pick up the phone and dial our distillery team.”

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Each of the Distillery Editions is available to buy at the distillery, or by calling Iain and the team at Glen Moray Distillery on 01343 550900. The Glen Moray Distillery is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a full list of health and safety measures in place. Visitors are asked to pre-book tastings and cafe visits due to limited numbers. Distillery tours are not currently available.

Glen Moray Distillery Edition whiskies come from Warehouse 1

Glen Moray 17 Years Old 2003 Chardonnay Cask (Cask #7670)
ABV: 58.9%
Cost: £85

Glen Moray describes the Chardonnay Cask expression as being subtly complex, with raspberry jam and freshly buttered warm toast followed by hints of bubblegum and citrus.

I didn’t get the bubblegum, but cherries, and almost a Bakewell tart flavour, shone through. It had to rely on its flavour, as the nose was a little weak (although that might be just me), but what was there had a pleasingly sweet aroma.

What really struck was the finish, which is intense; there’s a rush of spice initially, with more maraschino cherries in the mix. It’s warm, even hot, and spreads like wildfire. Glorious.

Glen Moray 16 Years Old 2004 Burgundy Cask (Cask #213)
ABV: 60.1%
Cost: £85

A bold nose with aromas of red fruits, almonds (perhaps marzipan), with more cherry and orange. It’s busy but delightful. Take a taste and the chocolate-coated cherries that Glen Moray tells us are there come to the fore. It’s joined by some cinnamon and a bit of sweet fruit like red apples.

Much like the Chardonnay Cask edition, there’s a broad warmth to the finish, but it’s richer and deeper here. The spice still exists, but it’s balanced by the flavours imbibed by the cask.

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There might not be much between them, but this one rocks my boat the most.

Glen Moray 16 Years Old 2004 Chenin Blanc Cask (Cask #341)
ABV: 60.3%
Cost: £85

The most powerful of the trio at 60.3%, the Chenin Blanc edition adds pear drops and honeycomb to the aroma, which sounds complex but is surprisingly delicate.

There’s a zesty spiciness to the first taste, with ginger and orange coming through, with a slightly woody edge to it all. There’s some almond or marzipan again, a theme common across all three expressions, that comes through at the end.

The finish is more gentle than the other paid, with notes of ginger and even a hint of fizzy sherbet dips coming through. Another winner.


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Phil Huff

Phil Huff has been writing for national newspapers, magazines, regional titles and countless websites since 2003. Specialising in travel and the automotive world, Phil is happiest when exploring foreign lands in foreign cars.