Ten days has passed by in the BTC 2015 competition and finally we got to taste the ‘special’ Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling, which seems to be an annual occurrence. Last year we had a 8 yo Balmenach and last night we got to taste this special Glen Moray that was matured in a First-fill Toasted Oak Hogshead. Take this cask with the extra toasting, add a whisky that was matured in it for twenty years, brought us a whisky imparted with flavors that imitate a wine/sherry cask. In short: a perfect candidate to confuse us at the competition.
I couldn’t figure out what cask finish was used here. I assumed it’s some European wine and so gave up the idea of trying to figure out which distillery it is. Instead, I spread out my guesses, fishing for some points – I chooses Glenburgie (as a random Speyside distillery), 11 year old and 57.5%. Luckily, I got points for the region and ABV so I avoided another zero points day. Hurrah!
SMWS 35.134 Churros dipped in hot chocolate, Glen Moray 20 yo (56.5%)
Nose: Feels like a wine finish at first. Or maybe is it a sherry cask? It’s sweet with cherries in liqueur from a jar. Below you can find maltiness and honey notes. Chalk and hints of spices, dark citrus.
Palate: Spicy with lots of pepper, winey, chewy and thick, honey
Finish: Medium length, dry but with lingering sweetness and pepper
Thoughts: That finish/cask treatment bring some unusual flavors profile to the whisky. It’s nice and quite tasty but it lacks distillery/spirit backbone which is an important part in good/bad definition.