Speyside’s Glen Moray are known for their experimentation with different cask finishes - they even have a Cask Project series dedicated to such - and this bottling represents their first foray into the sticky and exotic world of Tokaji casks.
Tokaji is a region in northeast Hungary which is famous for making sweet wines. The traditional method for producing these is Tokaji Aszú, whereby grapes affected by noble rot are macerated in a base wine made from healthy grapes, and the resulting wine is then matured in oak. Tokaji is typically an intensely flavoured, deep amber wine with notes of orange peel, apricots and honey.
Combine this influence with Glen Moray’s supple, elegant spirit and you get a whisky that’s deliciously sweet.
Glen Moray Warehouse 1 2005 Tokaji Finish was distilled on 7th October 2005. The casks it would be finished in started life a few years later: they were made from local Tokaji oak in 2014 and held wine from 2018. The five casks used held both Tokaji Aszú, wine made by the traditional local method of maceration, and Late Harvest Tokaji, sweet wine made with a process similar to that in Sauternes.
These five casks produced just 1244 bottles of Tokaji Finish single malt, bottled at 53.6%. We were thrilled to offer Whisky Show 2020 attendees a sneak preview of this bottle, and sure that the full bottles will be just as well received!
A full-on sweetshop of aromas are there from the outset: sugared almonds, caramel toffees and freshly baked gingerbread. Sweet sugars hold back the fresh fruit character traditional with a Glen Moray spirit but you can just about make them out, lingering in the background.
Beginning with a taste that is slightly malty, biscuity and hinting at freshly baked bread. The sweetness that stood strong in the nose comes through on the taste but is not as big as expected. Maple syrup on Scottish pancakes along with warm pecan pie.
Nutty, almond marzipan which is long and lingering.
Originally founded as a brewery in the early 1800s, Glen Moray became a distillery in 1897 with the installation of two pot stills. Unfortunately, the owners focused most of their attention on sister distillery Aberlour and it closed in 1910. However, it reopened in 1923, after being bought by Macdonald and Muir, owners of Glenmorangie.
For more than 80 years, Glen Moray was the experimental sibling to Glenmorangie. However, in 2008, it was sold to French drinks company La Martiniquaise and has since grown and developed as a single malt distillery in its own right.
In 2012 the owners installed a new pair of stills, taking the total from four to six, and in 2016 they built an entirely new still house, using cutting edge heat reclamation technology to increase the distillery’s efficiency. Experiments continue, with a warehouse full of interesting casks pushing against the limits of whisky regulations and creating great new spirit for the future.