A Glen Moray Christmas offering piques Brian Townsend’s ‘Curiosity’…
Glen Moray is one single malt that is certainly on the move. A few weeks back I enjoyed sampling three special malts from their “Curiosity” range – from chenin blanc, burgundy and chardonnay casks – and I’ve just enjoyed their 2020 Spirit of Christmas offering, namely a cask-strength malt matured in Sauternes casks. And very good it is too.
It is the first of their so-called Warehouse 1 collection, some 1,248 bottles at 59.6% abv drawn from five casks originally holding Chateau d’Yquem, regarded as one the very greatest of Sauternes wines.
With the spirit distilled and casked in 2006, it is now a heady, powerful malt with a complex mix of flavours that kept the taste buds and brain searching for ever more words to describe it.
Normally I like cask-strength malts neat, but I found that this Glen Moray needed a splash of water to bring out all its riches. Its RRP is £79.95 and it is available from the distillery and selected outlets, although I surmise most of the 1,248 bottles were snapped up pretty quickly.
Warehouse 1 at Glen Moray is, unsurprisingly, its oldest, built beside Gallows Hill where in the middle ages the condemned were hanged. Centuries later, men digging the warehouse foundations unearthed seven skulls, and probably other bones. The skulls were displayed in the distillery for many years before eventually being given a second burial.
Therefore Warehouse 1 is held in special reverence at the distillery and, although the vast majority of Glen Moray goes into ex-bourbon casks, in recent years various casks from French vineyards and elsewhere such as Madeira have been used to create a growing array of expressions, all maturing in the oldest warehouse.
Indeed, one batch of Glen Moray is currently slumbering in casks first used to mature Tokai, the famous dessert wine from Hungary.
Once bottled, it should be a single malt to Magyar taste budspop… This Sauternes-casked malt is solely being marketed in the UK, but future Warehouse 1 festive
season offerings may be distributed to key overseas markets as well.