Friday, 21 October 2016

SMWS Pairs–Two older Glen Morays

IMG_0293We’ve had some really epic society Glen Moray recently, like August’s 35.145 – Lost in the dessert: fresh and very complicated with one of those rollercoaster deliveries.  Or September’s 35.165 – Variety – the spice of life: first-fill chenin blanc cask, funky, meaty, rye and brett, but not overpowered or unbalanced.  Speaking to Iain Allen of Glen Moray at the whisky show recently, he was telling me how annoying it was having all these interestingly casked whiskies in the warehouse that they’d want to use in something but couldn’t because they always turned out to belong to SMWS.  At least now they’re in the central SMWS warehouses and not under their noses the whole time!

Anyway here’s another slightly tenuous link for a pair although they have more in common character-wise than yesterday’s pair distilled on the same day – and again only available on the bar.  And they are both rather good…

SMWS 35.171, Glen Moray, Lucky lemon lickers, 24 years old, 56.2% A⊕

25th October 1991, 222 bottles, 2nd fill bourbon

IMG_0291Nose - The epitome of classy Scotch. Mature cask, limoncello becoming lemon bonbons and a balanced sweet minerality like wet marble. Somehow I'm reminded of rice cooked in pandan leaf, and the sweet, well integrated and complex cask influence really makes me smile – a whisky that reminds me of early whisky discoveries. With time, a little chocolate covered toffee comes through. With water, toast and kit-kats.

Body - More roasted lemon in the delivery, a touch of heat to it (it is 56% though) with hot toast and honey. It's almost like hot lemon and honey, clearly this would prevent sore throats, although it would be a terrible waste to drink this on a malfunctioning palate. Seriously delicious. A lot gentler with water.

Finish - Medium with balanced wood bitterness and more heat softened citrus. A really gentle, mature finish, although a tad bitter at the end with water. Lovely stuff though.

What a fantastic whisky - fruit and wood in balance, complex notes of chocolate and toffee behind this and gently mature.


SMWS 35.170, Glen Moray, A dram for an Arabian Prince, 30 years old, 46.4% A⊕

19th July 1986, 249 bottles, refill bourbon

IMG_0292Nose - Wearing its age well, this has fresh fruit (red apple this time) and toffee in spades like the 171, but backed up by a big, waxy, musky and floral cask. Surprisingly balanced too, this is the kind of nose you get on one of those really old blends. With time, orange jelly and Ovaltine, and a touch of men's perfume.

Body - Incredibly gentle - warm hot chocolate, candy cigarettes and chocolate bonbons. A lovely, elegant balance of perfume, chocolate and cask structure.

Finish - Very long, with ripe green apple and midget gems. Love hearts at the very end. Water unbalances the delivery but brings more chocolate in the finish, I'd leave it out.

An incredibly delicate and well put together whisky, quite impressively balanced for a single cask. Take your time with this one.


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