Speyside Road Trip Day 3, Part 3: Glen Moray

We arrived at Glen Moray already in a good mood after the great visits to Glen Grant and Benriach on the way. It’s a relatively big distillery that’s packed in a compact space in the town of Elgin, so we didn’t take any photos of the distillery buildings other than these picturesque casks because the grounds were busy.

Since Glen Moray is in the heart of Elgin, the visitor centre was teeming with both locals and tourists. It was slightly chaotic overall, with staff having to run between the shop, bottle-your-own area and cafe – my guess is they may have been short-staffed, possibly due to the pandemic. As it was lunchtime, there were a lot of people dropping by the cafe in addition to the groups browsing the shop and waiting for tours to begin, so there was no time or opportunity for leisurely chats like at Benriach.

Glen Moray is one of the best distilleries to visit for bottle-your-own casks, both for variety and affordability. Out of all the distilleries I’ve visited, only Tomatin has a wider selection, with five casks (well worth checking out if you’re anywhere near the area), but Glen Moray is second to none in terms of value. As you can see below, both the 2013 Bourbon cask and the 2010 peated PX finish were £55, while the 2007 Burgundy cask sat at £99, which I feel is still very reasonable given the age and uniqueness.

Since I’m a fan of young Bourbon-matured whisky, the 2013 was exactly what I was looking for. I tried a sample and it was full of those typical fresh, vibrant notes, so I wasted no time in bottling it. I was also given a sample of the 2010 peated PX finish – on first impressions it was maybe a bit rough around the edges, but this kind of profile is always very popular among peatheads (indeed, if I’m not mistaken, this was the second cask of its type available at the distillery this year). Here are a couple of photos of me pulling the lever to fill the bottle, always a very satisfying process:

By the time I’d finished, the crowds had started to dissipate, so we were able to have lunch at the cafe. The salmon with scrambled eggs was excellent – but, unlike my wife, I’m not used to taking pictures of my meals, so here’s a photo of her sandwich instead:

Overall, another very enjoyable day in Speyside – it was just after lunchtime and I’d already had four drams (two at Benriach, two at Glen Moray) and found a great value hand-filled bottle, not to mention the walk in the amazing gardens at Glen Grant. Incidentally, as I browsed around the shop later, I spotted other distillery exclusives as well – for instance, there were 1 litre bottles of the Glen Moray 12 and 15, both at 48% and un-chill filtered if I’m not mistaken. I can’t be sure that they were exclusives – maybe they’re also for the travel retail market? – but in any case they were welcome variants to their core range.

I’d certainly like to return to Glen Moray in the near future for a tour and a more detailed tasting – not least because there’s another distillery exclusive that’s available only when you book certain distillery experiences. I’ll leave you with a photo of the 2013 Bourbon Cask that I bottled, complete with my scruffy handwriting (given all the whisky I’d had, I’m especially proud of the way I managed to stick the label straight).

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