Glen Moray Unwraps 1998 Barolo Finish As Second ‘Warehouse 1’ Whisky For 2021

By Gary Carter / October 18, 2021

The Scotch whisky distillery Glen Moray recently revealed another gem for whisky lovers … the 1998 Barolo Finish, the second of three whiskies from the Warehouse 1 Collection scheduled for 2021.

Distilled in 1998, this dram was tucked away in the Elgin distillery’s famed warehouse to mature in ex-bourbon casks, before being transferred to three ex-Barolo casks for a final finish.

The distillers note that this expression marries Glen Moray’s traditional sweet toffee and blackcurrant notes with hints of wood, leather, chocolate caramels and dark autumnal fruits, followed by a warming honey finish.

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 1998 Barolo Finish

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 1998 Barolo Finish (image via Glen Moray)

Exactly 863 bottles are being released exclusively to the UK market, as part of Glen Moray’s experimental approach to small batch whiskies bottled under the Warehouse 1 banner.

Barolo Finish is the oldest release from the collection to date and is the second of three launches scheduled this year … following this summer’s Tokaji Finish release. This year’s Warehouse 1 whiskies all share a common theme, celebrating what’s described as Glen Moray’s Speyside spirit matured in casks sourced from some of Europe’s oldest and most distinct flavored wine varieties.

Barolo, a prominent Italian red wine, is produced in the Piedmont region from Nebbiolo grapes, which are high in tannin and acid. Rich and full bodied, wine will have spent at least 18 months in the barrels used for final maturation of the Barolo Finish whisky expression.

Glen Moray Distillery Manager Iain Allan said in a prepared statement, “Once again, our distillery team has bottled an absolute gem from Warehouse 1, their special place for experimentation, innovation and patience – time, as always, being one of the most important ingredients in creating our whiskies.”

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He said their team searches the world for interesting and unusual casks, and they’re not afraid to use them to push the boundaries of flavor.

Launched in late 2020 with the inaugural Sauternes Cask Matured expression, Glen Moray’s Warehouse 1 Collection features small batch, limited release whiskies that are non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength with natural color.

Crafted since 1897 in the Scottish town of Elgin, the capital of the Speyside whisky region, Glen Moray distillers are said to have been curious about the varied flavors of whisky throughout their history. Surviving ledgers show that a wide variety of casks were used to mature new-make spirit back in those early days, which was an unusual practice for the time.

Glen Moray Warehouse 1 1998 Barolo Finish is bottled at cask strength, 105.9 proof. It’s a UK exclusive, available in 70cl packs in specialist whisky shops for the suggested retail price of £139.95.

Official tasting notes for the Glen Moray Warehouse 1 1998 Barolo Finish are below.

  • Nose: a combination of sweet toffee and floral rose fading to a decadent aroma of caramel chocolates.
  • Taste: after an initial hit of tannic intensity, leather and wood combine to create a whisky of stature. Then, the sweeter elements begin to shine, with toffee-drizzled figs, dark plums and blackberries drizzled with cream.
  • Finish: pure runny honey: gentle, sweet and lingering.