The Glen Moray distillery, located in Scotland’s Speyside region, first began producing malt whisky, distilled in traditional copper stills, on the banks of the River Lossie in 1897. In its lifetime, the distillery has known only five distillery managers, the most recent being Graham Coull. It is he, in part, that has developed a new 21 year old Scotch single malt whisky that was finished in ex-port wine casks.
The new Glen Moray 21 Year Old Portwood Finish, according to those behind it, was initially distilled and aged in first fill ex-bourbon casks for 19 years. Two years ago Coull, in part because of discussions with his predecessor Ed Dodson during visits Dodson makes to the distillery, made the decision to continue the maturation process for two years in seasoned ex-tawny port casks. Port wine is aged for up to several dozen years, according to the type of wine in a cask, tun or bottle.
The port casks are sourced from Porto Cruz, and seasoned high on the hillside in the Douro Valley, now a UNESCO World Heritage site in the northeast of Portugal. Grand Cruz House was established on the banks of the Douro River in 1887, making this a century-old brand; also the first brand of Porto to be found worldwide.
“Bursting with berried fruit, dark chocolate and raisin flavors, it is a whisky which combines tradition, expertise and innovation all in one glass,” said Coull in a prepared statement.
This whisky, of which 4,000 bottles have been released globally, is bottled at 46.3% ABV and is both non-chill filtered and of natural color. It prices for $180 per 750 ml bottle, and you’ll find some official tasting notes from the distillery below.
- NOSE : Intense berry fruits merge with creamy vanilla and rich caramel with hints of freshly- baked gingerbread.
- TASTE : Beautifully balanced and full of character. Blackcurrant and licorice dominate in the first instance, then chewy caramel toffee and chilli-infused chocolate come to the fore.
- FINISH : Rich and satisfying. Dark chocolate and caramelized raisins linger on the tongue long after the last sip is taken. The addition of Port wine flavors towards the end of maturation is the icing on the cake for this whisky. Multi-layered and seriously smooth.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...