Glen Moray has introduced a new expression to its Elgin Curiosity Range, and it's a real hidden treasure.

The popular Speyside distillery has unveiled the latest addition to its curiosity range of experimental limited editions – the Glen Moray Madeira cask project.

The whisky was fully matured in ex-sweet Madeira hogsheads for 13 years and 10 months, making the expression a rich combination of Glen Moray’s classic Speyside style mellowed with the sweet fruit and toffee influences of Madeira.

Just seven of these casks were laid down in 2006, tucked away undisturbed in Warehouse 1 – home to the Elgin-based distillery’s maturation experiments over the years.

This is where they would have remained, if not for the company’s new head of whisky creation, Dr Kirstie McCallum, who took the time to sample the casks and realised that hidden treasure had been created.

 

1468 bottles have now been released to the UK market as the third expression in the Elgin Curiosity Range, which aims to push the boundaries of single malt maturation and celebrate Glen Moray’s long standing passion for cask experimentation and flavour.

Dr Kirstie McCallum commented: ‘Single malt whisky matured in Madeira casks has been prized in the industry before, but typically the casks have only been used to ‘finish’ more conventionally matured whisky.

“That’s what makes this new expression so very special. Our new make spirit has been slowly mingling with the luxuriously sweet flavours of Madeira for nearly 14 years, giving a depth of flavour and an intense character that couldn’t otherwise be created.

“It’s a delicious dram, a dessert in a glass, and we are very much looking forward to sharing it with whisky drinkers in the UK.”

Influence of Madeira

Madeira is made exclusively on the subtropical Portuguese isle that shares its name, just west of Morocco.

Known for its nutty sweetness, balanced by a fresh, tangy acidity, it’s these rich notes that give the new Glen Moray expression its distinctive flavour.

Crafted since 1897 in the ancient town of Elgin – the capital of the Speyside whisky region – Glen Moray distillers have been curious about flavour throughout their history.

Surviving handwritten ledgers show that a wide variety of casks were used to mature new make spirit back in those early days, which was an unusual practice for the time.

A deep knowledge and expertise of wood has developed at Glen Moray through generations of distillers, resulting in today’s range of whiskies.

Tasting notes

Nose: toffee, dark chocolate, fig, and dates balanced with sweet pears, berries and subtle exotic spices.

Taste: sweet, syrupy, with deep notes of toffee, chocolate, black coffee, and figs, developing to sweet oak, poached pears, and soft fruit.

Finish: rich, lingering, and sweet with gentle exotic spices and dried fruit.

Where to buy

Glen Moray Madeira Cask Project is bottled at 46.3% ABV at its natural colour and is non-chill filtered. It is a UK exclusive, available in 70cl in specialist whisky shops, with a RRP of £65.

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About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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