Glen Moray 16, 1998 (Cadenhead’s Small Batch)

Glen Moray 16 (Cadenhead's)
I purchased this Glen Moray from Cadenhead’s Small Batch series at the same time as this Aberfeldy 17 and opened it alongside it. I did not like it as much as that one when first opened and indeed I didn’t really like it much, period, then. I took it to my local group’s July tasting and my opinion was echoed by a number of others. But as so often happens, as the bottle stayed open it began to improve, and by the halfway mark it was a lot fruitier and some of the funkier notes that I hadn’t liked very much at first became more appealing. I took it back to my group’s September tasting earlier this month and my revised opinion was again echoed by the group (who were tasting blind as they always do). Even though it never turned into anything spectacular this is another reminder/lesson to not come to quick conclusions about newly opened bottles (especially those at cask strength). And it’s a reminder as well that the “reliability” of any review you’re reading anywhere is susceptible to uncertainty re the point in the bottle’s life the review comes from (and the reviewer may not even know when it comes to samples): in other words, please don’t take my notes or scores too seriously.  Continue reading

Messing with Texas: Blending Brimstone, Pt. 2

Brimstone Blend 2

Half of this was saved for later.

So, my first blending experiment with the Balcones Brimstone that I despise (Batch BRM 11-10) worked out really well. Mixing half an ounce of the Brimstone with one ounce of the Longmorn 16 took out the most offensive raw wood notes of the Brimstone and mellowed it out nicely. Of course, I’m not stopping there (and not just because my Longmorn 16 is much closer to the end than my Brimstone). The goal tonight is to add more citrus/acid fruit to the blend and also some phenols.

Tonight’s recipe:

.5 ounce Brimstone
.5 ounce Longmorn 16
.5 ounce Glen Moray 12
1 ounce Caol Ila 10 (Signatory UCF)

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Glen Moray: Regular and Variation

Glen Moray

Which of these would you say was matured fully in a white wine cask?


Glen Moray is another distillery about which I know very little. I know that it is in the Speyside, that it doesn’t have much of a reputation and that its whisky is available for not very much money in the US. Until recently, that whisky was a 12 yo at 40%, which retailed in most places (and still does) for less than $30. As of a year or two ago (or at least that’s when I noticed it) it has been joined in the US by a 10 yo at 43% (higher than the 40% of the European release) that has been matured entirely in chardonnay casks, and which also retails in most places for less than $30. I’d resisted the blandishments of the 12 yo for many, many years on account of snobbery: an undistinguished distillery with “Glen” in its name and very low prices, I reasoned, was unlikely to add up to promising whisky. And the 10 yo I resisted when I first saw it on shelves last year because even goddamned Murray McDavid (who have finished whiskies in everything but a septic tank) did not mess with chardonnay casks (as far as I know). A gimmick, I thought.
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