Glen Moray 12

Original Blogger tags: Glen Moray 12, B+

Speyside whiskies are known for their lighter, sweeter character, and this expression of Glen Moray lives up to that. On the nose, it is fruity – in particular, canned pears in syrup, and maybe a little bubblegum. There’s a little Scapa-like heather honey. In the mouth, it is a little dry, with a lot of powdered cocoa flavor, and a bit of spicy ginger and cloves. The ginger is more evident with a little water. There are some subtle floral notes – is that carnations? On the finish, there are some nice lingering licorice flavors.

There’s also something that several other reviewers call “potato” or “starchy.” That’s not the most pleasant note, but it’s not awful, and mainly just a little odd. The finish is longer than I’d expect from the nose and flavors on the tongue.

The casks used are bourbon casks – no elaborate wine finishing for this one (and it doesn’t need it). I’d expect more vanilla and caramel – the web site says “toffee” – but I don’t really taste a lot of toffee, or caramel. Instead I get a lot of cocoa notes, which I really enjoy. It reminds me of Nestle Quik chocolate powder, which as a child I used to stir into milk, or occasionally eat straight from the can by the spoonful.

At 40% ABV, it is light, a little thin, not very “hot” at all, and drinkable – a dessert whisky for summer, or for when you don’t want to wrestle with a big peat monster. A lot of reviewers seem to criticize this whisky for excessive sweetness. I disagree. It is sweet, but it is also light; it doesn’t have thecloying caramel or toffee of, say, the Glenfiddich 12. I give it a B+. That starchy note is a little bit off-putting, and I’d like to taste it at cask strength; I think it would have more to offer at, say, 46%. But this is still a good dram, and the price is right.

Saginaw, Michigan
May 31, 2010

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