Glen Moray Distillery started out life as a brewery. The Elgin West Brewery was first founded in 1830 and later became the Glen Moray Distillery in 1897.
Today it is owned by Glenmorangie, who in turn are owned by La Martiniquaise.
The brand knows their roots well and have recently released the Elgin Heritage Range, to celebrate their birthplace.
This release consists of three expressions, a 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 18 Year Old, and is the brands luxury Whisky range.
The 12 Year Old is a wonderful example of how well Glen Moray craft their malts and has been matured in first fill American oak casks.
It opens with a nose of toasted oak and vanilla. The sweetness gives itself over to a slightly tart note of summer berries, with a warming hint of caramel coming through.
There is a slightly floral note to this dram, with earthy grass and heather notes appearing.
The palate is rich and thick, with lots more oak and caramel. It has a wonderfully smooth mouth feel that really lends itself to the soft, sweet notes.
There is a crunch of apple and pear, with lovely blossom and a hint of thyme and basil in the background.
This dram is refreshing and light, which goes well with it’s main flavour profile.
The oak lasts into the finish, which is gentle and delicate.
The 15 Year Old, £45
Next in line is a 15 Year Old that has been matured in American oak and ex-sherry casks.
This is a wonderfully rich and complex dram. it brings together a bitter dark chocolate flavour with the same sweet vanilla that appeared in the 12 Year Old.
The nose is packed with oak wood and cinnamon spice. The oak is sweet and thick, and blooms to become a warming and inviting cinnamon flavour.
There is a slight nod towards apple and citrus fruits, with a little bit of fruity tang coming through. This goes well with the softer, sweet notes of oak and vanilla.
The palate is brimming with fruit. It is full of apples, oranges, limes and lots of dried raisins, apricots and figs.
The mouth is chewy, owing to the fruits, and has a Christmas cake quality to it.
The cinnamon is especially good with the dried fruits and really brings out their sweetness.
A bitter dark chocolate starts to appear, with a rich creaminess to it. This is drizzled all over the other flavours, which really makes them come alive. It becomes bolder and more confident as it goes along.
The finish focuses on this flavour and brings in more dried fruits and a hint of oak wood.
Finally, we have the 18 Year Old. This is the perfect dram for the range to finish on as it is complex and deep, with lots of flavours and an incredibly smooth mouth feel. Like the 12 Year Old, it has been matured in American Oak Barrels.
The nose begins with warming oak and vanilla. It has a lovely toasted quality to it and the vanilla becomes rich caramel and thick toffee as it grows.
There is a cereal and butter note as well, which goes hand in hand with the oak. These flavours come together and complement each other perfectly.
The buttery qualities continue onto the palate, which is smooth and soft. It melts into a lovely honeyed flavour, which has floral and blossom note to it.
Gentle herbs and dew covered grass also appear, giving this dram a lovely easy-going mouth feel. Like the 12 Year Old, there is a refreshing quality to the 18 Year Old.
Throughout the palate there is also a delicate hint of smoke wafting across the other flavours. It is slightly warming and a lovely addition to an already incredibly dram. The smoke really brings out the depth of this expression.
The finish is well rounded, with all the flavours coming together under the oak wood. It is long and lingering.