Earlier this year I reviewed some ten of the many releases the Laings put out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their popular Old Malt Cask line. And then a few months later, just when people thought this was finally an OMC 20 Anniv-free zone I hit you with another (this Auchroisk 24). Maybe you thought that was the last of it, but no, here’s another. But this finally is the last of it. I actually opened this a while ago. I took my time drinking it down to the halfway stage, at which point I took these notes and also set aside a sample for Michael K. of Diving for Pearls. After that I drank the rest at a faster clip, checking in on my notes each time to see if there were any major departures I should note (there were not). Here now are my notes. I mentioned setting aside a sample for Michael K.—as it happens, this is yet another of our simul-review packages. We did a week of simul-reviews of peated whiskies in November (the Offerman Lagavulin, Laphroaig 10 CS, Batch 011 and a Ledaig 6). We didn’t agree on all of those and I’m interested to see if we will today. As always, we have not seen each other’s notes or discussed them in any way prior to posting. I’ll be reading his review in the morning and will link to it once I’ve seen it (and here it is).
Glen Moray 14, 2004 (50%; Old Malt Cask 20th Anniv. Release; from my own bottle)
Nose: Yeasty, bready, malty. As it sits the yeasty note begins to shade towards chalk and lemon and there’s quite a bit of salt too below it all. Maltier with time here as well. A few drops of water seem to wake the yeast back up a bit but the malt expands as well, bringing a lot of tart apple with it.
Palate: Comes in a little sweeter than the nose suggested. All the stuff from the nose is here—begins to get sweeter as I swallow (apple, pear). Nice bite and thick mouthfeel at full strength. As it sits it gets quite cidery. With more time still the chalky, yeasty notes subside and the sweeter notes expand along with the malt. Okay, let’s add water: more lemon (zest), more malt and yes, some of the yeast again; the fruit is a bit muskier now.
Finish: Medium-long. Not very much new here—the acidic notes continue and then there’s some lingering prickliness (the first sign of the oak). As on the palate with water.
Comments: A very nice, unadorned malt whisky. Needs time/patience to unveil its charms, and a little drop of water does not hurt. I really enjoyed drinking this bottle down.
Rating: 86 points. (Fluctuated between 84-87 points over the life of the bottle.)