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Elgin, being the capital of Moray, located in the heart of Speyside, has seen a lot in the past, but now the vicinity houses several distilleries, one of them being Glen Moray. I am writing this review after 5/8 bottle (bought 4 days ago) of the reviewed expression has been thoroughly and blissfully sipped.
Nose: Straight and honest. A desert dance of brandy, sherry and oak. A palpable Turkish delight. Good old Chilean Malbec Reserve red wine. Strong floral notes. Rose oil. Hint of salt and mint. No booziness at all. Very likeable and complex nose for a totally unfashionable Speysider.
Palate: in the beginning the palate follows the nose. Old Malbec Reserve and old Solera combined. Very sweet. The sweetness starts as soon as the dram enters the mouth. Lots of sweet oak. Honey suckle. Hint of white pepper and herbs. A distant milk chocolate (Lindt?).
Finish: Sweet, turning to bitter. Sweet toffee, followed by green pepper and bitter lemon, covered in yet more oak. The oak however is not bold, but caring, caressing and subtle. Very dry.
Everything about this dram is subtle, but it doesn't hide the hint of various dangerous and dark pleasures awaiting you at the damp basement of its' white, clean, meticulously flawless house. The basement that you are longing to visit and you know it is a matter of time until you succumb to the temptation. It's like hearing Lord Vetinari speak: understated words in a quiet voice, saying all the right words and making you do what he essentially wants you to do. In other words, the Glen Moray 16 Year Old is full of guilty pleasures, that you half-intentionally covet to indulge in.
The only drawback to this one is the kick. Bottled at 40% ABV, it lacks the "KA-boom!" factor in palate and finish. The burn is inadequate to the abundance of other niceties to this dram. It just doesn't pack any punch. If this dram was bottled at 45% ABV it would have easily equalled or surpassed the score of Longmorn 15 Year Old. It has the potential, but the fuel, the fire, the kick... they are simply not there. So, instead of allowing it a score around 96 or 97, I'll give it 90. Still, given its' price tag (around €32 in Sofia, Bulgaria), this dram makes a very high position in my Bang-For-My-Buck chart. And I will no doubt buy another bottle of Glen Moray 16 Year Old, because it's sooooooo drinkable.