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Some time ago, I reviewed a Duncan Taylor bottling of a Glen Elgin, which was quite good - this Glen Moray is the second of three samples I'll be looking at. Like the Glen Elgin, it is non-coloured, non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46%.
Glen Moray distillery, in Elgin, was a brewery first - the conversion took place in 1897. It struggled for a while, then was bought by blenders Macdonald & Muir, who sold it to LVMH in 2004. With their focus being on Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, nothing much happened with them - until it was subsequently sold to La Martiniquaise. I believe Glen Moray's chief activity is being the lead malt in Bailie Nicol Jarvie; otherwise, their single malts do not get a lot of attention.
The colour is pale straw - clearly this is a refill bourbon cask (though I don't know for sure, as I'm going by a sample here so I don't have the bottle). On the nose, this is very malty - seems younger than fifteen years. Freshly cut wet grass, chocolate milkshake, marzipan, very herbal. Freshly baked sourdough bred. Lovely nose, very fresh. With water, out comes roasted almonds - a surprise!
The palate is very delicate, sweet, buttery, creamy. Hazelnut and butterscotch, but all very gentle - the cask influence is muted. Creamier with water, but in general it dilutes the palate and finish.
The finish is longer than you would think, developing deeper and deeper, with gentle spices and creme caramel. The focus on this is clearly on the spirit, not on the cask - very clean and fresh, a summery malt. Unfortunately, it has no real distinction - I've never had any Glen Morays before (I don't think), and I would try others - but with this one, there is not much going on.