Review: Glen Moray, SMWS 35.145

Glen Moray, SMWS 35.145 “Lost in the dessert”, 24yo

(Distilled 25/10/91, 2nd fill ex-bourbon hogshead, 228 bottles, 57.6%)

Glen Moray used to have a bit of a bargain-basement reputation, but I get the feeling they’re increasingly fondly regarded. Certainly some very nice young casks knocking about at the moment…

Nose: Green and fresh and sweet. Apple Jolly Ranchers and cucumber undercut by a pleasantly sour wood/tobacco note. Coconut, too, and cola – not Coca Cola, but something off-brand and more cola nutty. Hints of tarmac, honey and musk. Adding water brings out a red fruit note – cherry! – and a bit of vanilla pastry.
Taste: Very immediate and very lovely – with shedloads of tart green apple, honey and vanilla cream. Develops with Cherry Coke (the Real Thing this time) and cinnamon. Water brings out that spicy side a bit more.
Finish: Surprisingly rich, and with a decent amount of oaky spice. The apple boiled sweet theme continues and adds some balancing sharpness. Raw honey with bits of comb in it, and some typically Speyside grassy notes. Oakier with water. Nice musky melon thing happening in the aftertaste.

Right, if you’re trying a whisky and find yourself noting down “tarmac, honey and musk” you know you’re having a good time! I love the nose on this – it’s fascinating and enticing – and makes the rest of the experience of this whisky seem a bit pedestrian. I suppose it’s unfair, but it’s also true that we’re very much in the “typical Speyside” realm – even if that’s a jolly nice place to be.

Very good and enjoyable overall (although be careful with adding water), and a particularly nice balance between the sweet and tart – but it’s the nose that’ll make you swoon.

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