Here’s a couple from the kilolitres of Glen Moray SMWS output each year. This says good things about Glen Moray!
SMWS 35.27, Floating turtles over Lynchburg, Glen Moray, 10 years old, 58.4% A+
First fill bourbon, 214 bottles. A gift from Phil Storry, the end of his old (check the cask number compared to the next one) bottle of this opened for a tasting some time ago. Released July 2009 according to the all seeing Google.
Nose – Intensely sweet even from quite far away, full maturation in first fill bourbon has been good to this whisky! Sweet, sappy wood, vanilla cream, dirty wax, erasers and sweetened granite (I know there’s no such thing, but that’s what’s there!). This isn’t cloying though – the fresh, metallic, ozone note brightens it right up. Young, bright and dirty, my kind of dram. With water, much softer on the nose – juicier and fruitier, but still has that quirky, malty, dirty note I love about some SMWS bottlings.
Body – Sweet, intensely wooded, chilli spice (aha – Phil’s not a fan), cassava and quite significant bitterness. With water, more bitterness but lovely fruit again – juicy orange, raisins and bitter oak.
Finish – Long, quite spicy and bitter. Intense but not unbalanced and not wrong, just young and well put together.
What’s not good about it – delivery isn’t as fun as the nose.
What’s good about it – Interesting and dirty throughout, serious fun on the nose. Good musky, tropical burps. Cracking stuff, thanks Phil!
SMWS 35.112, Perfect storm of flavours, Glen Moray, 17 years old, 51.8% A⊕
First fill designer barrel, 143 bottles. 17 December 1996. This was part of Whisky for a Year (May 2014). I reviewed this before and forgot, as part of the September outturn in which it appeared subsequently. I liked it, had a lot of the same notes (and gratifyingly, the same score). I only remembered this fact when I googled for an image, which you will see again, below. Anyway, these notes were taken at home, at leisure, and with a fresh palate.
Nose – Remarkable. A high heat wok of Chinese flavours – chilli, ginger, garlic. Indian rice pudding is very strong here too. Very floral (I’m not up to speed with flowers but it smells like an old lady’s house a bit), but with a lovely, fresh, juicy top note. And yet balanced – not too much sweetness, although it verges on cloying – it’s balanced by musk, wood, wax, fruit and flowers. Just wonderful.
Body – Intensely sweet with a back of the throat catching of waxy, tropical wood. Chilli spice at the front of the tongue and all round massage oils – floral, woody and perfumed.
Finish – Lots of “Mukhwas” (sweetened seeds eaten after an Indian meal). Long, floral cereal, very sweet and lots of juicy wood. Just a lingering hint of blue cheese. Riotous.
What’s not good about it – Pretty silly. Bourbon levels of sweet oak intensity.
What’s good about it – Great fun, juicy and fruity and complex.